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Oral history interview with David J. Selznick

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.447.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0211

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

David J. Selznick, born in Anykščiai, Lithuania in 1912, describes growing up as the youngest child in a large family; going to Ukmergė, Lithuania to study at a yeshiva in order to become a rabbi; his father’s death shortly before his twelfth birthday and becoming the legal master of his father's estate; deciding to sell off his family's farm and livestock and move to Kaunas, Lithuania; attending a Yiddish night school in Kaunas and working during the day as a retailer of office supplies; his experiences with antisemitism, which hurt his business; selling his business to two Christians but remaining as a silent partner; receiving a visa to serve as a diplomatic envoy to New York because of his business connections but instead deciding to leave for Portugal; returning to Kaunas in 1936 because he was worried about his mother and sisters; his deportation to the Kaunas ghetto in 1941; performing forced labor until late 1944 because he had worked for the ghetto Kommandant; smuggling food to the Jewish prisoners in the ghetto; escaping during the liquidation of the Kaunas ghetto in July 1944 and fleeing into the countryside, where he hid with some other Jews; his liberation by the Soviet Army; and immigrating to the United States in 1949.

Interviewee
David J. Selznick
Interviewer
Linda G. Kuzmack
Date
1990 September 06  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
3 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:09:08
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn504703