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Oral history interview with Aharon Carmi

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.31 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0031

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    Oral history interview with Aharon Carmi


    Interview Summary
    Aharon Carmi, born in Opoczno, Poland in 1921, recounts being one of seven children; attending cheder, public school, then Tarbut school; participating in Gordonyah; antisemitic violence; his older brother's immigration to Palestine in 1935; two brothers' conscription; the German invasion; one brother's return; anti-Jewish restrictions; Germans taking community leaders for ransom, including his father; the community paying the ransom; his father's appointment to the Judenrat; ghettoization; working in the family bakery; volunteering in a soup kitchen; his assignment to bury corpses from a killing; hiding with his brother and uncle during a round-up; his capture by Poles; securing their release with a bribe; hiding in a cemetery (a Polish friend brought him food); returning to his parents in the ghetto; transfer with his family to the Ujazd ghetto; escaping from a deportation train with encouragement from his father; Poles offering him shelter, then robbing him; traveling to Warsaw; returning to Opoczno to retrieve buried money to purchase false papers; assistance from Polish family friends; returning to Warsaw; obtaining false papers; his arrest; interrogation and beating by the Gestapo; transfer to the ghetto; forced labor sorting Jewish belongings; escaping; hiding with a Jewish family; contact with Eliezer Geller; joining the Jewish resistance (ZOB); arms training; participating in missions, including arresting collaborators; the ghetto uprising; escaping with a group through the sewers to a forest; David Nowodworski organizing them; obtaining supplies from friendly Poles; other ghetto fighters joining them; receiving weapons from the Polish Communist Party (PPR); moving to another forest; joining Armia Ludova partisans; skirmishes with the right wing Armia Krajowa (AK); a Soviet air drop of weapons and supplies; blowing up German trains; his unit's dissolution; many casualties from German attacks; liberation by Soviet troops; interrogating German POWs; joining the Soviet militia in Minsk Mazowiecki; guarding Jewish refugees; traveling with the Soviet Army to Praga; returning to Minsk Mazowiecki; meeting Abba Kovner in Lublin; interrogating AK members; traveling to Warsaw; meetings with Yitzhak Zuckerman and Marek Edelman; discussions of revenge; returning to Minsk Mazowiecki; his marriage; briefly returning to Opoczno; joining a group immigrating to Palestine; receiving documents as Greek Jews; traveling through Poland to Slovakia, then boarding a Red Cross train to Romania; living three months each in a kibbutz in Alba Iulia, then Bucharest; his illegal emigration by ship from Constanța to Palestine; interdiction by the British; his release; his reunion with his brother; his wife's uncle hosting a Jewish wedding by a rabbi for them; working as a baker; being drafted into the Haganah; and serving in the 1948 Arab-Israel War and 1956 Sinai Campaign. Mr. Carmi also shows photographs.
    Aharon Carmi
    interview:  1991 May 29
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    26 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Topical Term
    Antisemitism. Escapes. Forced labor. Guerrillas--Poland. Holocaust survivors. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. Identification cards--Forgeries. Israel-Arab War, 1948-1949. Jewish councils. Jewish ghettos--Poland--Opoczno. Jewish ghettos--Poland--Ujazd (Województwo Swietokrzyskie) Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.--Poland. Jews--Poland--Opoczno. Jews--Poland--Ujazd (Województwo Swietokrzyskie) Jews--Poland--Warsaw. Military interrogation--Poland. Prisoners of war--Germany. Prisoners--Abuse of. Railroad trains--Poland. Sabotage. Sinai Campaign, 1956. World War, 1939-1945--Jewish resistance. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons, German. World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Poland. Men--Personal narratives. Uprisings.

    Administrative Notes

    Nathan Beyrak conducted the interview with Aharon Carmi in Israel on May 29, 1991, for the Israel Documentation Project. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the tapes of the interview by transfer from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Dept. in February 1995.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:14:34
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