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Oral history interview with Riza Yankelevna Roitman

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1287.29 | RG Number: RG-50.226.0029

Riza Ynkelevna Roitman, describes her memories of her childhood in the Ruplaskaya oblast, Ukraine before the German invasion; the events preceding her deportation to the Pechora concentration camp at the end of 1941; the typhus epidemic that afflicted her, her parents, and many of the camp’s inmates; the death of her parents from typhus and her mother’s last words; how she and many other inmates were saved from execution at the last second because of an appeal from the queen of Romania to stop killing Jews; how she and other inmates felt that death was just a matter of time and life was meaningless; her decision to escape the Pechora camp; how she was captured in a nearby village and imprisoned by Romanian police; how the police took her through the streets of her home town and how she began crying once they passed her old house; working for the Romanians with another Jewish girl; how the Romanians fed her soup and bread; being sent back to Pechora; bribing a German guard to save her life; her attempt to escape again with her sister; how towards the end of the German occupation she made a final escape attempt; being captured and put in a jail cell together with another Jewish girl and a drunk Ukrainian vodka thief; the village demanding their release because they felt more free towards the end of the war; her release on March 18, 1944; working as an army nurse until the end of the war; starting a family after the war; and living in Kharkov (Kharkiv).

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Riza Y. Roitman
interview:  1994 August 13
1 videocassette (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:51:46
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