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Oral history interview with Samuel Makower

Oral History | Accession Number: 1998.A.0111 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0388

Samuel Makower, born on January 6, 1922 in Sosnowiec, Poland, describes his life, town, and family before the war; his experiences with antisemitism; participating in the Hashomer Hatzair youth organization; being forced with his family into Russian-controlled Białystok, where he stayed for three months; moving to a small town in the Ural Mountains, where he worked on a copper and gold mine; no longer practicing his faith once he was forced from his home; moving to Minsk on June 22, 1941 and the Germans forcing him into the Minsk ghetto in August; managing to get food from nearby peasants while in the ghetto; witnessing the pogroms committed by Ukrainian guards; going up to the Judenrat office to find work and often receiving construction jobs; escaping from the ghetto with a group of thirty people to join the Chicalifsky partisan group in the woods; blowing up trains and attacking Germans as part of his work for the partisans; receiving food and information about German forces closing in on the partisans from local peasants; meeting the Red Army in the forest and assisting them in fighting the Germans by cleaning up after attacks, blowing up remnants, and helping to liberate cities like Berlin; going to a displaced persons camp in Berlin, where he reunited with his mother, brothers, and sister; entering the university in Berlin in 1948 and meeting former German soldiers who he might have almost killed during the war; receiving his doctorate in chemistry and getting a job in Massachusetts in 1956; and reconciling with his past.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Samuel Makower
Randy M. Goldman
interview:  1998 June 15
Oral histories.
4 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:31:00
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