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Oral history interview with David Stoliar

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0384 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0384

David Stoliar, born on October 31, 1922 in Chișinău, Moldova, describes spending his early childhood in France and in Bucharest, Romania until the age of ten when his parents divorced; going to boarding school in France until he returned to Bucharest in 1937 to live with his father and complete high school; enrolling in a Jewish junior college because Jews were not allowed to attend university; the closing of his school and the round-up of the town’s young Jews; his father’s successful efforts to buy him a passport and an exit visa from the Romanian government, which got him on a ship destined for Palestine; boarding the Sțrumah but drifting in international waters for a few days when the ship’s engine broke; the towing of the refugee boat into the Turkish port of Istanbul because the Romanian government refused to take the refugees back, and the British government would not permit them to enter Palestine; being forced to sail in international waters until the ship was destroyed by a torpedo explosion, and all 769 passengers and the Bulgarian crew were thrown into the water; being found among the wreckage by Turkish sailors who brought him to shore as the Sțrumah’s sole survivor; going to a military hospital for a week and then moving to a Turkish prison; finally receiving an entrance visa into Palestine from the British government; arriving in Tel Aviv in April 1942 and soon joining the Jewish Brigade of the British Army; fighting the Germans in Tripoli, Greece; being transferred to Cairo, Egypt, where he met a Jewish woman from Alexandria who later became his wife; leaving the British Army and returning to Palestine in 1946; fighting for the Hagannah in Israel’s War of Independence; and living in Israel until 1954, when he took a job with an oil company in Japan.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
David Stoliar
Dr. Radu Ioanid
interview:  1997 August 18
creation: Washington (D.C.)
Oral histories.
2 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2023-11-16 08:02:30
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