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Oral history interview with Leah Kaufman

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.367 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0367

Leah Kaufman, born circa 1932 in Gertsa, Romania (presently Hertsa, Ukraine), discusses being the youngest of seven children; attending private Hebrew school; her mother's role as a midwife and healer; antisemitic violence; joyful holiday and Sabbath observances; Soviet occupation; Romanian takeover; fleeing with her family after being warned they would be killed; a reprieve from execution when a Romanian soldier recognized her mother as the woman who had delivered him; returning home; a death march to Edineț in fall 1941; continuing to Ataki; her father's murder and disappearance of her brothers; staying overnight in Mohyliv-Podilʹsʹkyĭ, then transfer to Shargorod; one sister's death; transfer with her mother and twin sisters to the Kopaygorod ghetto; smuggling food for her family; her sisters' and mother's deaths; escaping to seek her aunt in Mogilev; a non-Jewish woman feeding and clothing her; continuing her journey; being mauled by dogs; women rescuing and caring for her; finding her aunt in the Mogilev ghetto; living in an orphanage; escaping; living as a non-Jew with a local woman; Jews denouncing her; deportation to Peciora; observing cannibalism; escaping; staying with many peasants en route to Mogilev; staying with the local woman with whom she had previously lived; renouncing her Judaism; moving to a Bucharest orphanage in 1944; apprenticeship as a dressmaker; her brother finding her; moving to an orphanage for children going to Palestine; missing that opportunity due to illness; her other brother finding her; attributing her survival to many simple peasants who helped her; plastic surgery in Canada to repair facial scars from the dog attack; her education there; and abusive treatment by a German psychiatrist when applying for reparations in 1968.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Leah Kaufman
interview:  2000 March 02
4 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-08-03 11:26:24
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