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Oral history interview with Aharon Carmi

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

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

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.

Interviewee
Aharon Carmi
Date
1991 May 29  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
26 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2018-03-14 09:15:17
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn502651