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Oral history interview with Shmuel Elhanan

Oral History | Accession Number: 2005.604.13 | RG Number: RG-50.641.0012

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Shmuel Elhanan (born Rabinovitch) discusses his prewar family life in Lithuania; his brothers who immigrated to Palestine four weeks before the Russians entered Lithuania; his father’s studies in chemistry at the University of Berlin where he met his mother and married in 1924; their return to Kovno in 1927; his father’s position as the deputy head of the German labor office under Lt. Gustave Hermann; taking care of the vegetable gardens and potato fields left by the Lithuanians; studying in vocational school in the ghetto and learning metalwork and woodwork; working as a messenger boy; his Bar Mitzvah which took place in the ghetto; living in fear his entire time in the ghetto; his mother’s view that they would not survive; how his mother declined the offer from a Lithuanian who was ready to find a hiding place for him; his mother’s goodbye letters to her sons in Palestine, one of which reached a brother in 1944; being sent to the “right” side during the big action when 10,000 Jews were deported in one day; how during the children’s action someone told him to stand on a stool so he would look older; being taken out of the ghetto with his parents in one of the last groups; being forced into cattle cars and sent near Danzig; how his mother stayed with them when some of the other women were taken off and sent to Stutthof; being sent to the subcamp of Dachau to the labor camp Kaufering; being sent on a death march to Dachau; their liberation on May 2, 1945 by a Japanese unit; and his view that his optimistic outlook helped him survive.

Shmuel Elhanan
approximately 1997  (interview)
Documentary films.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from Herb Krosney
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Record last modified: 2018-03-20 10:52:49
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