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Jenia G. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3836)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3836

Videotape testimony of Jenia G., who was born in Švenčionys, Poland (presently Lithuania) in 1927, one of four children. She recounts her large, extended family; attending a Tarbut school; her father visiting a sister in Palestine in 1939; his inability to return due to the war; Soviet occupation; joining Komsomol; German invasion; her mother hiding her during round-ups; refusing to hide with a non-Jewish farmer; transfer with her family to former military barracks in Švenčionėliai, then to the Polygon; her mother arranging her return to Švenčionys with her younger brother four days later; learning everyone at the Polygon, including her family, had been killed; living with relatives; ghettoization; forced labor building railroads and on a farm; smuggling food into the ghetto; learning of partisans and their escape plan; train transport with her brother to Paneriai; escaping; hearing the shots of a mass killing; hiding with workers from Vilna ghetto who smuggled her into the ghetto; living with an aunt; sorting belongings from mass killings (she found money and her aunt's clothing); participating in Hashomer Hatzair; deportation with friends to Kaiserwald, then Strazdenhof; slave labor building barracks; arrival of prisoners from Germany who still had their valuables; partnering with them to trade their valuables to Lithuanians for food they shared; assistance from a Todt supervisor; the birth of a child who was taken away; brief hospitalization; slave labor for AEG; transfer to Kaiserwald, then Stutthof; a three-month death march; her group of friends carrying one of them who was too weak to walk; abandonment by the guards; liberation by Soviet troops in Lębork; hospitalization; returning to Vilna via Kaunas; reunion with a cousin; traveling to Łódź, then France with Beriḥah; living in the Kassel displaced persons camp, then a kibbutz in Eschwege; marriage in 1947; emigration to Israel; reunion with her father; and the births of two children. Ms. G. discusses the camp hierarchy and intergroup relations; nightmares resulting from her experiences; not sharing her experiences with her children in order to protect them; and visiting Lithuania with her daughter six years ago, including the Polygon, where her family was killed.

G., Jenia, 1927-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
Interview Date
August 8 and October 11, 1996.
Švenčionys (Lithuania)
Švenčionėliai (Lithuania)
Lębork (Poland)
Łódź (Poland)
Kaunas (Lithuania)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Jenia G. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3836). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:26:00
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