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Oral history interview with Uri Chanoch

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.265 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0265

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

Uri Chanoch, born in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1928, discusses being one of three children; his annual visits with his younger brother, Daniel, to his paternal grandparents in Žasliai; attending a Hebrew gymnasium; his father's car accident in 1938 resulting in a one-year hospitalization; his mother assuming responsibility for his business; Soviet occupation; attending a Soviet camp in Palanga in summer 1941; German invasion in June; Lithuanians separating the Jewish children, locking them in a synagogue, and beating them; their parents sending buses three weeks later to return them home; ghettoization in August; their former maid bringing them food and offering to hide Daniel; his mother refusing but entrusting her with their furniture; orders for the entire population to gather in October during which many were selected; observing them walking to the Ninth Fort the next day (they were killed); a privileged job as a messenger for SA Lieutenant Gustav Hermann, head of the German labor office; being approached to assist the ghetto underground; forming a cadre of four; weekly meetings; obtaining stamped work permits for groups escaping to the partisans; his mother's round-up to the Ninth Fort; Lt. Hermann arranging her release; hiding Daniel during the round-up of children; refusing to divulge his location during a severe beating; losing his job as a result; slave labor in a wood shop; the underground ordering him to escape with a group; retreating back to the ghetto after being fired upon; deportation with his family by cattle car; being separated from his mother and sister during the journey; slave labor in Kaufering; Daniel’s privileged positions in the kitchen; sharing extra food with their father; an order for deportation of children; deciding to remain with his father, in the hope of helping him and thinking Daniel was going to a better place; brutal slave labor building tunnels; believing God had deserted them; a public hanging of escapees; encountering a cousin who died shortly thereafter; his father's transfer (he never saw him again); punishment for taking a potato; reassignment as a messenger due to influence of friends from Kaunas; helping friends; bribing a prisoner doctor to save his best friend; train transfer from Dachau; escaping with three others; liberation by Soviet troops; beating Germans in Schwabhausen for revenge; United States troops stopping them; traveling to Landsberg; U.S. troops assigning them to a German home; humiliating Germans; learning Daniel was in Munich; traveling there with friends; continuing acts of revenge; encountering the Jewish Brigade which organized their trip to Bologna; learning his mother and sister did not survive; reunion Daniel; living in Fiesole for seven months, preparing for emigration to Palestine; communication from relatives in the United States; moving to Modena; departure for Palestine with Daniel from Tradate in June 1946; living on a Youth Aliyah kibbutz; and participating in the Arab-Israel War; the importance of luck and circumstances to survival; native Israelis' contempt for survivors; Daniel's reluctance to discuss their experiences until about ten years ago; emotional visits to camps, Lithuania, and their maid's daughter; and heightened emotions as the years pass. (He names many with whom he was involved and shows photographs.)

Interviewee
Uri Chanoch
Date
1995 December 07  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
10 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2018-05-21 14:28:24
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn503094