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Oral history interview with Harold Zissman

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0318

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

Harold Zissman, born on May 10, 1922 in Ostrów Mazowiecka, Poland, describes growing up in a Hasidic household; attending a private Zionist school for boys with his brothers; experiencing antisemitism when among childhood friends; hiding some of his family’s belongings when Hitler came to power; the German invasion in September 1939 and subsequent shootings and discriminatory laws; crossing over to Soviet-occupied Poland and settling in Dziarėchyn, Belarus, where he and his family lived in the ghetto; being sent to a forced labor camp in Belarus in 1942 until a partisan group broke up the camp, forcing the workers to return to the ghetto; being inspired by the partisans and forming a resistance group; escaping with his group to the Lipichany Forest in Belarus in May 1942 and establishing contact with other partisans; becoming a platoon commander in the resistance, which required him to blow up bridges, disrupt communications, and attack police stations and garrisons; his liberation by the Soviet army in Hrodna, Belarus in September 1944; marrying Sonia Heidocovsky, whom he had met in the forest, in May 1945; posing as a Greek Jew with his wife in an attempt to immigrate to Palestine but ending up in Italy; leading a kibbutz to help the continuation of illegal immigration to Palestine; and immigrating to the United States on March 14, 1948 with his wife and newborn daughter.

Interviewee
Harold Zissman
Interviewer
Randy M. Goldman
Date
1995 April 12  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
8 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 11:13:35
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn504813