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Oral history interview with Mayer Relles

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.119 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0119

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    Oral history interview with Mayer Relles


    Interview Summary
    Rabbi Mayer Relles, born on June 2, 1908 in Skala, Poland (now Skalat, Ukraine), describes his family and childhood; living in Italy from 1933 to 1944; studying at a university and a rabbinical college in Rome; managing to remain in Italy as a student; Mussolini’s treatment of Jews and his changing attitude towards Hitler; the anti-Jewish laws established in 1938; his arrest and brief internment in June 1940 first in Campagna then in Ferramonti; being treated extremely well by the Italians; trying to flee in December 1943 after police warned Jews they would be arrested; being arrested near the Swiss border and detained by the police in Como then at a barracks in Camerlata in Northern Italy; his escape to Milan; staying at various safe houses and living in a rest home under a false name; using papers that gave him a new identity; receiving help by individual Italians, nuns, and a committee that worked to rescue Jews; how he survived and details on his escape to Switzerland in April 1944, during which he was part of a group rescue organized by a Mrs. Comelli; the many instances of help from non-Jews and the kind treatment from Italians during this period; and arriving in the United States from Switzerland on November 8, 1951.
    Mayer Relles
    interview:  1983 June 27
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive

    Physical Details

    2 sound cassettes (60 min.).

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    Administrative Notes

    The Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive conducted the interview with Mayer Relles in Philadelphia, Pa., on June 27, 1983. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tapes of the interview from Gratz College in August 2003.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:36:38
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