Jenia G. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3836)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
- Interview Date
- August 8 and October 11, 1996.
- 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.
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.