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Oral history interview with Eliahu Eilam Kimel

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2016.66.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0254

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    Oral history interview with Eliahu Eilam Kimel


    Interview Summary
    Eliahu Eilam Kimel, born on July 30, 1934 in Galicia, Poland, discusses his childhood; his parents Avraham and Regina (Rivka), who were both in the photography business; their non-Jewish neighbors; his father being a Zionist while his mother did not want to go to Palestine; having a large extended family of 100 members, of whom six survived; the Germans occupying his town; his father being beaten by a German, after which his family fled east to Lvov (L’viv, Ukraine) to relatives; his father making money by taking photographs for IDs; traveling east by train for three weeks without getting off and arriving in Ozero, Siberia; living there from 1939 until June 1941; his father working in the forest; being liberated in June 1941 but ordered to stay in the Soviet Union; going to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, then to Seragana, where they stayed for one year; having little food since fields were used to grow cotton for uniforms; not attending school and being taught how to read by a cousin; his father joining General Anders’ Polish Army in 1941; moving with his mother and aunt to a town near the army base; his mother getting ill, being pronounced dead in a hospital, and then revived by a doctor; his father being sent with the army to the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy, for which King George gave Avraham a medal; going with his mother and aunt to a port on the Caspian Sea; fainting on the pier as he tried to get on a boat after stepping on a dead child; sitting on wooden benches on the tanker without getting up for 36 hours; arriving on the shore of Pahlavi, Iran, and then going to Teheran; his mother being taken to a hospital while he stayed with his aunt in a barrack for Jews; not being a part of the “Teheran Children” who stayed in an orphanage but being saved by them when he was being pushed into a waste ditch; staying for 18 months; attending school; leaving with his mother by boat to Suez; crossing the desert by train and going to Atlit in Palestine then to Jerusalem; attending high school; being in the Israeli Army from 1954 to 1957; studying engineering in the Technion in Haifa; getting married and having three sons; and still suffering from the trauma of his childhood.
    Eliahu E. Kimel
    Gail Schwartz
    interview:  2016 February 25

    Physical Details

    1 digital file : WAV.

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    Administrative Notes

    Gail Schwartz, on behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch, conducted the interview with Eliahu Eilam Kimel by telephone on February 25, 2016.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:13:19
    This page:

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