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Oral history interview with Uri Chanoch

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

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.)

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Uri Chanoch
interview:  1995 December 07
10 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-02-16 15:52:13
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