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Oral history interview with Dora Iwler

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.8.11 | RG Number: RG-50.063.0011

Dora Iwler (née Zuer), born in 1923 in Chodorów, Poland (Khodoriv, Ukraine), describes her family; being educated in a Catholic school; becoming aware of antisemitism in her adolescence; how her father’s fruit store was expropriated; learning Russian and going to work for the Russian government; how the Russians discriminated on wealth instead of religion; how the Nazis arrived in Chodorów in the summer of 1941 and persecuted the very religious Jews, homosexuals, and Romanies; how a large Ukrainian population of her town collaborated with the Nazis; how her father made a bunker under a kitchen cupboard for the family to hide in; the deportation of Jews, including her mother, in 1942; how her sister was shot and killed while running away from Nazi soldiers; how one of her brothers was taken away; working as a gardener for a Ukrainian family outside the city during this time; being sent to a concentration camp (Janowska) near Lwów, Poland (L'viv, Ukraine);being assigned to a wheat field; witnessing the murder of 1,000 people one day and 2,000 the next; escaping the camp and running to Lwów; working as a janitor for an elderly couple and pretending to be a Christian; being recognized and turned in by a classmate; successfully pleading with the officers not to harm the couple with whom she had been living; being taken to a jail in Lonzski; being sent to a ghetto and a 45 km death march; being helped by a train conductor during the death march and escaping; resuming her Christian alias; living with a Polish family for six months; going to Sanok, Poland after the Russians liberated Poland in January 1945; getting married in February 1945; the antisemitism in Poland after the war; fleeing to Italy with the help of Haganah representatives in Germany; staying in Italy four years; immigrating to the United States in 1949; settling in Pittsburgh, PA; how her children know her Holocaust story; still having nightmares about the Holocaust; leading a secular lifestyle; and her reflections on persecution.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Dora Iwler
interview:  1989 July 26
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from Holocaust Center of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:49:01
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