Meir T. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3915)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1998
- Interview Date
- January 29, and February 5 and 19, 1998.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Meir T. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3915). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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 Isaac Rabinovitz, 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 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. Ms. T. discusses continuing nightmares resulting from his experiences and believing he and his son survived by happenstance.