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Oral history interview with Moshe Leshem

Oral History | Accession Number: 2004.620 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0491

Moshe Leshem, born in 1918 in Brno, Czechoslovakia, describes growing up in a Zionist family; the relations between Jews and Gentiles before World War II in Czechoslovakia; his studies at a medical school in Brno until he decided to quit and start tutoring at a local coffeehouse; his father's efforts to take his family to England or the United States; his involvement with the Zionist Hechalutz organization; working on a farm in Michałowice, Poland as part of the agricultural training needed to immigrate to Palestine; being transferred to a farm in Prague, Czechoslovakia and taking a leadership position in Hechalutz; the belief of the Jewish community in Prague that the ghetto in Theresienstadt was the best way to save Czech Jews from deportation; the involvement of the Jewish youth in preparing the ghetto for habitation; his suspension from the Hechalutz for speaking out against the Jewish community's leadership; obtaining false documents for himself and his wife; contacting the communist underground and working as a forger; setting up a deal with the Prague Labor Exchange to replace Czechs who were to be sent to forced labor camps in Germany with Jews; and immigrating to Israel and then the United States.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Mr. Moshe Leshem
Karen Michelle
interview:  2004 October 06
interview:  2004 November 13
Oral histories.
3 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:36:40
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