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Esther M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-259) interviewed by Norman Blumenthal and Robert Prince

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-259

Videotape testimony of Esther M., who was born in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1923. She describes life as a Jew in an integrated community; college in Vilna; the outbreak of war in June 1941; hearing about a pogrom in Kaunas; her successful efforts to travel from Vilna to Kaunas to join her family; the formation of the ghetto; forced labor; starvation, selections, and mass shootings at the Ninth Fort; the black market created by smuggling food into the ghetto which enabled her and her family to stay alive; and the final liquidation of the ghetto in the spring of 1944. She tells of her family's building a bunker; her escape through a hole in a wall to a large sawmill; remaining there for thirteen days with twelve other escapees with only dirty water for nourishment; watching the ghetto being burned by the Germans; and escape one night to a friendly Lithuanian who hid them until the arrival of the Russians. Mrs. M. discusses her severe depression after the war when she realized that no one from her family survived; her work in the illegal immigration to Palestine; her escape through Italy to Palestine; her marriage; emigration to the United States in 1953; the example of her mother's volunteer work which inspired her to become a social worker; and her discussions with her children about her war experiences and family losses.

Author/Creator
M., Esther, 1923-
Published
New York, N.Y. : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1984
Interview Date
March 11, 1984.
Language
English
Copies
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Esther M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-259). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/963057
Record last modified: 2011-05-05 16:48:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt963057