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Oral history interview with Julie A. Keefer

Oral History | Accession Number: 2012.209.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0198

Julie Keefer (née Jula Weinstock Eisen), born on April 19, 1941 in Lvov, Poland (present day L'viv, Ukraine), discusses her family’s forced relocation into the Lvov ghetto; the escape of her grandfather, Aiski Eisen, from a camp in Janov; her grandfather finding help from Mr. Borecki, who told him in late 1943 that the ghetto was to be burned, and her grandfather’s rescue of her family from the ghetto; her memories of a tunnel or bunker in the forest, to which a few dozen people were smuggled out of the ghetto; her memories of her grandfather donning a Nazi uniform to smuggle people out of the ghetto; being taken out of the bunker because she and her baby sister, Tola, were endangering others by crying; being placed with Mrs. Szwarczynski, a Catholic woman; the arrival of the Russians in Lvov in June 1944; staying in three displaced persons camps in 1945; living in Camp Taylor in Linz, Austria; traveling alone at seven years old to the United States, where she lived in a series of Catholic orphanages, seeing relatives on weekends; being called a Nazi because she spoke German; being sent by the Joint Distribution Committee to the Bellefaire Jewish Children's Orphanage in Cleveland, OH; her adoption by Fred and Tea Klejstadt; attending Oberlin College; getting married and earning a graduate degree in education; feeling grateful to United States; and her desire to find out what happened to her hidden sister whose name became Antonina Noviska.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Julie Keefer
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
interview:  2012 August 09
Language
English
Extent
2 digital files : WAV.