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Oral history interview with Elizabeth Herzog

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1996.A.0586.61 | RG Number: RG-50.407.0061

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    Oral history interview with Elizabeth Herzog


    Interview Summary
    Elizabeth Herzog, born April 10, 1924 in Poland, discusses her middle-class family’s move to Yaroslav (Jaroslaw, Poland); her father Max (born circa 1898-99) and her mother Laura Rothstein; her two younger brothers, Ismayel (born 1926) and Boris (born 1931); attending school with Jews and Poles; having to attend a private high school as Jews were not allowed in the public high school; never attending synagogue and never learning Hebrew or Yiddish; experiencing some antisemitism; her grandfather who was religious and was beaten up because he had a beard; belonging to a Zionist youth organization that met in secret; the picketing of Jewish shops around holidays to make buyers go to Christian-owned shops; the migration of members of her family in the mid-1930s from the German borders to Jaroslaw; her family’s consideration of emigration and deciding not to when her grandparents refused to leave; the beginning of the war in 1939; the frequent bombing of the city; the roundup and killing of Jewish businessmen; her father and uncles fleeing to Romania, where they were stopped by Russians and sent back to Poland; Jews being ordered to report to the train station with no belongings on October 13, 1939; going with her mother, aunts, and brothers toward the Russian border with many other women and children; arriving at Lubatchev and lived with a cabinetmaker; her father and uncles rejoining family; being evicted and moving to Lviv, Ukraine; attending school in Lviv; the Russians ordering her family to leave in April 1940; being taken by train to Irkutsk and staying in barracks for a while; going north by boat on the Angara River into the Taiga of Siberia to a labor camp 30 km from Bodaybo (Bodaĭbo, Russia); living in primitive barracks without electricity; eating mushrooms and berries in the summer and fish from the river in the winter; her family’s work cutting timber seven days a week; having little bread; getting water from snow; occasionally getting meat and oil; the awful mosquitos; going to the nearby city of Bodaybo; working at the train station along with her brother; becoming Russian citizens; being taken to a primitive collective farm near the Volga River in 1944; becoming a kindergarten teacher; food from the United States arriving in that area; repatriating to Poland on April 10, 1945; going to Silesia; hearing about the camp and thinking it was Russian propaganda; meeting her future husband (he was the only survivor of a 30 person family); her father experiencing antisemitism when he tried to return to their home; getting married in 1948; her brother’s immigration to Australia in 1946 so he could avoid pogroms; the immigration of her parents and youngest brother to Australia in 1950; immigrating with her husband in 1958 to Australia; their two children and two grandchildren; and her thoughts on Poland.
    Elizabeth Herzog
    Geri Kras
    interview:  1996 July 04

    Physical Details

    1 videocassette (VHS) : 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
    Herzog, Elizabeth.

    Administrative Notes

    The Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre conducted the interview on July 4, 1996, in Melbourne, Australia. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum acquired the tape of the interview in July 1996.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:29:23
    This page:

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