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Oral history interview with Harold Zissman

Oral History | Digitized | RG Number: RG-50.030.0318

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    Oral history interview with Harold Zissman


    Interview Summary
    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.
    Harold Zissman
    Randy M. Goldman
    interview:  1995 April 12
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    Oral histories.
    8 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Zissman, Harold.

    Administrative Notes

    Randy M. Goldman, on behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch, conducted the oral history interview with Harold Zissman on April 12, 1995. This interview is one of 51 oral histories included in the Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:02:03
    This page:

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