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Oral history interview with Ya'akov Visgorditzki

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.301 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0301

Ya’akov Visgorditzki, born in Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania on October 19, 1931, describes being one of five children; attending a Jewish school; the Soviet occupation; the German invasion; Jewish relationships with the Poles; fleeing with his family; arrest of his father and older brother; returning home; finding their home occupied by Lithuanians; ghettoization; visiting his brother and father at a work camp (he never saw his father again); his brother's escape; moving to his aunt's home with his sister; his sister caring for him; working in a factory; going to Stutthof after the ghetto's liquidation; separation from the women; his transfer to Landsberg then Dachau in a children's group; being transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau; receiving extra food from the Sonderkommandos; praying not to be selected for death; being chosen by Dr. Mengele for extermination but at the last minute joining a survivors group; in January 1945 escaping from a march with two Poles and ending up in Katowice and then Gliwice where he became a servant for a Russian officer; going to a refugee camp in Sosnowiec, Poland; a Jewish Soviet officer taking him to Kraków, Poland; a non-Jewish Ukrainian adopting him in 1947; attending school in Kiev, Ukraine; traveling to Kovno in 1950; reuniting with an uncle; learning his sister was alive in Vilnius; joining her; military draft; visiting his Ukrainian adoptive father in 1958; his marriage in 1960; the births of two sons; his sister's immigration to Israel, then his six months later; not sharing his experiences, even with his children, since reliving them causes him pain; and attributing his survival to luck.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ya'akov Visgorditzki
interview:  1996 October 25
3 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:29:12
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