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Meir T. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3915)

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3915

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    Videotape testimony of Meir T., who was born in Jonava, Lithuania in 1920, one of nine children. He recounts attending a Yavneh school; moving to Kaunas in 1937; joining Komsomol; attending school, taking voice lessons, and working; Soviet occupation; marriage in 1940; draft into the Soviet military; posting at Telšiai; German invasion in June 1941; fleeing to Jonava; meeting his wife there; futile efforts to flee east; detention with his wife by Lithuanians; escaping; assistance from a Lithuanian in the forest; returning to their residence in Kaunas; a German bringing them food; ghettoization in August; reunion with his parents and siblings; slave labor building an airfield; hiding in bunkers and attics during round-ups; the round-up and murder of his father and brother, then of his mother and six other siblings at the Ninth Fort; assistance from Yitsḥaḳ Rabinovits, a Jewish official; his son's birth in January 1942; and participating in the ghetto resistance led by Haim Yelin with assistance from Elkhanan Elkes, head of the Judenrat.

    Mr. T. recalls a brief stay in Kaišiadorys; his wife leaving their child at a church; her capture when returning (he never saw her again); deportation to Stutthof in June 1944; encountering his brother and his wife's father and brother; their transfer to Dachau, then Landsberg; losing his will to live except for his desire to witness revenge against the Germans; a kapo beating a prisoner to death; slave labor felling trees; a German supervisor giving him extra food; a friend organizing extra food for other prisoners and providing him with shoes when his were stolen; a public hanging; liberation with his brother from a death march by United States troops; assistance from the Red Cross; returning to Kaunas; finding his son with assistance from his wife's sister, whom he married; moving to Vilnius; efforts in 1950 to assist a priest who had protected his son and who had been arrested by the Soviets; helping erect a Kovno ghetto museum; its destruction by Soviet soldiers; increasing antisemitic discrimination; emigration to Israel in 1960; and the births of a son and daughter. Mr. T. discusses continuing nightmares resulting from his experiences and believing he and his son survived by happenstance.
    T., Meir, 1920-
    Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1998
    Interview Date
    January 29, February 5 and 19, 1998.
    Soviet Union
    Jonava (Lithuania)
    Kaunas (Lithuania)
    Telšiai (Lithuania)
    Vilnius (Lithuania)
    Cite As
    Meir T. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3915). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    This testimony is in Hebrew.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    3 videorecordings (8 hr., 50 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Soviet occupation.
    Aid by non-Jews.
    Childbirth in Jewish ghettos.
    Mutual aid.
    Postwar experiences.
    Postwar effects.
    Antisemitism Postwar.
    Holocaust survivors. Video tapes. Men. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish. Draft--Soviet Union. World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Soviet. World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Jewish. Jews--Lithuania--Kaunas. Jewish ghettos. Forced labor. World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities. World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Lithuania. World War, 1939-1945--Jewish resistance. Concentration camps--Psychological aspects. Jewish councils. Brothers. Death marches. Lithuania. Jonava (Lithuania) Kaunas (Lithuania) Telšiai (Lithuania) Vilnius (Lithuania) Oral histories (document genres) Hiding. T., Meir,--1920- Rabinovits, Yitsḥaḳ,--1887-1968. Yelin, Haim,--1912-1944. Elkes, Elkhanan,--1879-1944. Vsesoi︠u︡znyĭ leninskiĭ kommunisticheskiĭ soi︠u︡z molodezhi. Stutthof (Concentration camp) Dachau (Concentration camp) Landsberg (Concentration camp) International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-30 11:51:00
    This page:

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