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Oral history interview with Martin Silver

Oral History | Accession Number: 2016.178.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0830

Martin Silver, born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, discusses growing up with a single mother; visiting his Orthodox Jewish relatives every Saturday; the contact his immigrant family had with their relatives in Vilna, Poland (today Vilnius, Lithuania); communications between his family in New York and his family in Europe before and during the war; knowing that the situation for Jews in Europe was dangerous; the end of the war; graduating high school and attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy; learning about the organization Aliyah Bet and its efforts to bring Jewish displaced persons to Palestine illegally; becoming interested in the situation of Jewish displaced persons in Europe; volunteering to help outfit the SS Mayflower in order for it to transport Jewish DPs to Palestine illegally; the creation of the state of Israel; traveling to Europe on the outfitted ship (documented under the name Mala); arriving in Marseille, France; taking on 1,400 Jewish displaced persons; conditions on the boat; arriving in Israel after the state had been created and not having to run British barricades; reuniting with some of his Lithuanian relatives who survived the war and lived in Haifa, Israel; returning to Europe to bring a second set of refugees to Israel; returning to the US; having a successful career; moving to Israel for four years in the 1970s; returning to the US; and his continued close relationships with Israelis.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Martin Silver
Rebecca Dillmeier
interview:  2015 October 16
1 digital file : WAV.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:37:46
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