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Oral history interview with Sonia Heidocovsky Zissman

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0332

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, Łódź, and Austria; and immigrating to the United States in 1948 to meet with some of Harold’s relatives.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Sonia H. Zissman
Randy M. Goldman
interview:  1995 May 25
Oral histories.
4 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2020-06-24 14:46:28
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