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Oral history interview with Benjamin Lavi

Oral History | Accession Number: 1991.A.0110.8 | RG Number: RG-50.266.0008

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

Benjamin Lavi (né Bornstein), born April 10, 1930 in Lodz, Poland, describes his parents, Moshe and Bronya; his father’s candle making factory and his mother’s work as a nurse; living a middle-class life; his extended family; the German occupation and the gradual persecution and restrictions; the sealing of the ghetto; hiding with his grandparents during a deportation of the young and old; being taken to a prison camp and loaded on a train to Auschwitz; the selections and passing as older than his real age; being taken with his father to work in Germany in a tire factory; being moved to Hannover to work in a tank production plant; the slave labor and the horrible conditions; being marched out of the camp in April 1945; escaping with other youths and returning to the abandoned camp after nightfall; the German Red Cross arriving and then German soldiers, who were ordered to execute all the survivors; being loaded on trucks then abandoned in Hannover in front of a French prisoners camp; being helped by the French; the US Army arriving and providing them with care; his father being hospitalized and dying on May 6; his mother’s survival of Bergen-Belsen, where she worked in a hospital, and finding him in Hannover; returning to Belsen with his mother; joining the 'kinderheim' (an orphanage); the assistance of the Jewish Brigade and the American Joint; being moved to Hamburg; going to france in 1946 and sailing on the Champolion to Palestine; going to Atlit for four days then Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim; his first experience with socialism; their first Sabbath in the kibbutz; joining the Palmach in 1948; and being a grandfather and living in Haifa.

Interviewee
Benjamin Lavi
Interviewer
The Honorable Hadassah Rosensaft
Date
1991 October 23  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
1 videocassette (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..