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Ella and Leon S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-305) interviewed by Norman Blumenthal and Miriam Forman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-305

Videotape testimony of Ella S., who was born in Bielsko-Biała, Poland in 1918, and her husband Leon S., who was born in Lv́ov, Ukraine in 1918. Mr. S. describes details of his childhood in Kolomyya as the youngest of six children; attending high school where he edited a literary journal; training as a violinist; attending medical school; and anti-Semitic incidents throughout. Mrs. S. describes her family of four sisters; her parents' emphasis upon higher education; attending medical school in Lv́ov, where she met her husband; the Soviet occupation of Lv́ov and the hardships that resulted; their marriage in 1941 under false names; the German occupation; the death of her father in an Aktion in 1941 and her mother in 1942 in Belzec; and being sent with her husband to an area outside of Lv́ov to deal with a typhus epidemic. Mr. S. describes contracting typhus; hiding in a Ukrainian village with his wife where they treated all the peasants; learning of the deaths of all the members of his family; obtaining official documents for his wife and himself as Christians; several narrow escapes when they were almost discovered; many episodes in different places where they hid; working as exterminators killing lice to prevent typhus in Polish villages; and being drafted into the Polish military as a doctor in 1944.
Mrs. S. recalls the birth of their son in a Polish village where the nuns urged her to have him baptized. Other topics in this unusually detailed testimony include Mr. S.'s experience with the Polish army; the murder of Jews by the Polish underground; the losses suffered by them and their families; their decision to leave Poland in 1967; their children's lives; Mr. S.'s memory of defiance during the war and Mrs. S.'s of constant fear.

Author/Creator
S., Ella, 1918-
Published
New York, N.Y. : Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, 1984
Interview Date
November 4, 1984.
Language
English
Copies
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ella and Leon S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-305). 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/982266
Record last modified: 2015-01-14 16:25:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt982266