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Oral history interview with Nathan Snyder

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.70 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0070

Nathan Snyder, born on May 21, 1926 in Unter Stanestie, Rumania (now Staneshti, Ukraine), describes the Jewish community Unter Stanestie, religious observance, and the Zionist movements; his education in cheder and public school, including the gymnasium in Czernowitz (Chernivtsi, Ukraine); experiencing antisemitism in school from the Iron Cross movement; the effects of the Russian occupation and the deportation of Jews; the German Army approaching and the local Ukrainians rounding up and murdering Jews and plundering their homes; how survivors were forced to march to Czernowitz and herded into a ghetto with Jews from other towns; the living conditions, frequent transports to Transnistria, forced labor, and some attempts at underground resistance; his adolescent experiences, including taking excursions outside the ghetto, passing as a Volksdeutsche, and having hazardous encounters with SS; the turmoil as the Russians advanced and Rumanian authorities fled and the Germans started killing Jews; risking his life to get supplies from a warehouse before the Germans blew it up; being liberated by the Russians and joining a civilian militia formed by Jewish youths to patrol Czernowitz until the Russian militia took over; life after the Russian occupation; serving in the Russian Army in a demolition squad clearing minefields; how his commanding officer was a Jew posing as a Cossack; the chaotic conditions near the end of the war; going absent without leave and hiding for four months; crossing the border with false papers; joining the Betar and serving as a Madriach under Yehuda Avriel using a false name; his group helping others to make Aliyah to Palestine illegally; and how he avoided capture as a deserter as the Communists gained control.

Interviewee
Nathan Snyder
Date
1984 October 15  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
5 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, acquired from the Gratz College Hebrew Education Society
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:55:14
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508694