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Oral history interview with Harold Zissman

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0318

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.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Harold Zissman
Interviewer
Randy M. Goldman
Date
interview:  1995 April 12
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
8 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
 
Record last modified: 2020-06-24 14:46:27
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn504813