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Oral history interview with Ben Muler and Bernice Muler

Oral History | Accession Number: 1992.A.0123.1.5 | RG Number: RG-50.035.01.0005

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Bernice Muler (née Braha “Bronia” Fogul), born in 1925, describes living in Tomashov (Tomaszów Lubelski), Poland; her brother and sister; hoping to become a teacher; the Russian occupation; being advised to leave and having little time to pack their belongings; 2000 people including her immediate family and some of the neighbors leaving in army trucks bound for Russia; her family staying in a small hut with a dirt floor for six months; not being allowed to stay there and deciding to go to Odessa, Ukraine; travelling in cattle cars in January 1940 for 20 days and arriving in some wood cabins by the Ural mountains, close to Siberia; her family moving to a city where she attended eighth and ninth grades in a Russian school; having to work at age 16 in a factory for twelve hours a day; and going with her mother to Sumz, Russia, where she met her future husband Ben.
Ben Muler, born in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1922, describes his family; keeping up with the news as the Nazis rose to power; antisemitism in the 1930s; German Jewish refugees arriving in Poland; the Lithuanians being abusive towards the Jewish population; the Russians arriving; the German bombardments in 1941; trying unsuccessfully to convince his family to leave; the journey with his friends to the Russian border; arriving in Osmiany (Ashmiany, Belarus) and separating from his friends; reuniting with his friends in Minsk, Belarus; working on a collective farm in Ukraine with other refugees; going to the Ural Mountains; being drafted into the labor army and sent to work cutting timber for a copper mine; meeting Bernice; and corresponding with his aunt in Mississippi.
Ben and Bernice describe returning to Poland in 1946; the fates of their family members; the Jewish underground helping them cross the border illegally into Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Germany; going to the Deggendorf displaced persons camp; arriving in Boston, MA on October 14, 1949; going to a small town in Mississippi; and moving to Dayton, Ohio.

Interviewee
Ben Muler
Bernice Muler
Date
1986  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 videocassettes (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:39:57
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507328