Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Yafa Ulpan

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.266 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0266

Yafa Ulpan, born in Švencionys, Lithuania in 1927, discusses her family and being one of five children; antisemitism in her town affected Jewish schools and businesses; the Russians taking over when the war broke out in 1939 and the confiscation of their houses and store; the Lithuanian partisans took over schools and businesses when Russia and Germany went to war; Jews being arrested and forced to do hard labor; her father being asked to handle the organization of food supplies; how the Lithuanians surrounded their home and stole all of their valuables; her father being taken away, made to dig his own grave, and killed; Jews being assembled and marched at night to Poligon; returning to Švencionys and then to the ghetto; all her friends being sent to camps and her boss saving her by assigning her to agricultural work; being to the Dūkštas (Dukszty) work camp; working in the new Švencionys work camp; going to the Vilnius ghetto through connections and bribes while the others were sent to Kaunas and killed; working outside the ghetto and hiding during police searches; being smuggled out and brought to a Christian woman who hid her; pretending to be Polish; being taken to the Gestapo prison, where she worked cleaning the jail; befriending a guard who helped her escape when all others were shot; being taken to Kielce, Riga, Mežaparks (Kaiserwald), and then Dundaga; being sent with a group to a larger camp en route to Germany, where they marched to the border and were sent to Stutthof; working in a German village for six weeks digging potatoes; being sent to another camp where a Polish guard let her leave on a death march; going after liberation to a village close to Hamburg, Germany; leaving with friends and receiving help from a German; joining a caravan heading for Vilnius; being taken to work in Bydgoszcz, Poland; her future husband Misha, a Jewish Russian officer, taking her to stay with a friend; going to Vilnius to find relatives; going to Łódź, Poland and finding out that her brother and sister had survived; Misha deserting the army and finding her in Łódź; going to Austria; the Jewish Brigade helping them go to Italy, where they lived for two years; getting married in 1946; taking a ship to Israel and being caught by the British and sent to Haifa, Israel in 1947; being placed in a detention camp in Cyprus for 16 months; going to Ra'ananah, Israel in November 1947 then Magdiel, Israel, where her husband worked in an orchard and she opened a fish store; and living in Jaffa, Israel.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ulpan, Yafa
interview:  1995 December 08
17 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:28:20
This page: