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Oral history interview with Sonia Heidocovsky Zissman

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0332

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

Sonia Heidocovsky Zissman, born October 6, 1922 in Zhetel, Poland (now Dziatlava, Belarus), describes her father’s business and attending Jewish school with her brothers; having good relations with her Gentile friends; the Russian invasion in 1939 and the loss of her father’s business because of nationalization policies; the German invasion on June 30, 1941; being forced to wear the yellow star, walk in the streets, and obey a curfew; the formation of a Judenrat and the closing of schools; the mass killing and deportation of Jews from the city at the end of 1941; the establishment of a ghetto on February 22, 1942 and moving with her uncle to the ghetto; being saved by her uncle who claimed he needed her father’s help to make boots for the Germans; the mass executions of several people in the ghetto on August 6, 1942; running away to the Dvorets ghetto and finally to the Lipichany Forest, where she was reunited with her father and brothers; living in the forest with her father for the next two and a half years; moving around often and begging for food from farmers; her brothers’ decision to join the partisans; not learning about the concentration camps until after she was liberated; her liberation by Russian soldiers in the summer of 1944; moving into her old house with her remaining family members; marrying Harold Zissman, whom she had met while living in the forests, in May 1945; posing as a Greek Jew with her husband to try to immigrate to Palestine; arriving in Italy after briefly staying in Bialystok, Lódz, and Austria; and immigrating to the United States in 1948 to meet with some of Harold’s relatives.

Interviewee
Sonia H. Zissman
Interviewer
Randy M. Goldman
Date
1995 May 25  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
4 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 11:14:02
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn504826