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Oral history interview with Yehuda Beilis

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.349 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0349

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

Yehuda Beilis, born in Kovno, Poland (Kaunas, Lithuania) in 1927, describes his father, Eliezer, who was a medical doctor and owned a printing shop and real estate; his mother, Hana, who was a dentist; his two older brothers, Chaim and Yosef; speaking Yiddish at home; playing Ping-Pong for the Zionist movement Betar; the Russian occupation; being in a Russian boy scouts group and attending a summer camp in Palanga, Lithuania; the German invasion; his family moving into the ghetto in Slobudka (Vilijampole, Kaunas); being rounded up with his family and taken to the Ninth Fort, where Yehuda’s parents were killed; surviving the massacre and returning to the ghetto, where no one believed his story of the massacre; fleeing the ghetto and hiding on the farm of his uncle’s friend; returning to the ghetto, where the Betar Zionist movement trained him in sabotage and leading resistance actions; saving 22 children from the ghetto with the help of a priest; going back and forth between the farm and the ghetto; the Nazis finding him; the liquidation of the ghetto and being transported to Landsberg; finding a brother in the camp and working hard to save his gravely ill brother; being depressed and occasionally wanting to die; Czech Jewish inmates; being sent to Kaufering IV; cannibalism in the camp; French president Léon Blum sleeping in the bunk next to him; Russian prisoners of war and Yugoslavian partisans led by Tito arriving; being evacuated on a train that was bombarded and escaping with others; going to Landsberg where there was chaos before the evacuation of the camp; the battle the next day and the camp’s liberation; reuniting with his Russian friends, and arming themselves to search for Germans and seek revenge; the foiling of his first attempt to immigrate to Palestine by a Jewish spy who informed the British; his eventual voyage to Palestine at the end of 1945; joining relatives in Tel Aviv, Israel; working in Haifa, Israel; serving in the Israeli Army; and visiting Lithuania.

Interviewee
Yehuda Beilis
Date
1999 February 16  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
15 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
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Record last modified: 2018-03-14 09:15:57
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn503311