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Oral history interview with Richard Vanger

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.388 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0388

Richard Vanger (né Ryszard Wanger) discusses his childhood in Warsaw, Poland; pre-war antisemitism and violence; Polish-Jewish relations after the German occupation; fleeing east with his family toward the Soviet-occupied part of Poland; crossing the border between the two zones; conditions his family experienced while fleeing; settling in the village of Stolowicz (Stalovichy, Belarus); the German invasion in 1941; trying to flee farther eastward; being overrun by the German forces in Minsk, Belarus; returning to Stolowicz; relocating into the ghetto; living conditions in the ghetto; his father’s friendly relations with Poles in the town; his parents’ awareness of what was happening to Jews and their plans for him; Polish-Jewish relations during the war; hiding with a Polish woman named Mrs. Tereza and her daughter Jelizaveta Dolenga-Vzhzosek (USHMM interview RG-50.674*0009); being hidden by several different Polish families in surrounding towns and villages; his survival methods including dressing like a girl and acting like a Catholic Pole; the several times he came close to being discovered; the end of the war; reuniting with his aunt who returned from Siberia; living in a Jewish orphanage; immigrating to England; immigrating to Israel in 1970; reuniting with Jelizaveta in 1990; his ongoing relationship with Jelizaveta’s family; differences between his and Jelizaveta’s testimony; his views on antisemitism; and messages he has for contemporary teachers in Poland and Belarus who teach about the Holocaust.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Richard Vanger
Nathan Beyrak
interview:  2011 October 19
1 digital files : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2021-02-16 15:52:17
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