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Oral history interview with Eliahu Eilam Kimel

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

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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Kimel, Eliahu Eilam
Schwartz, Gail
interview:  2016 February 25
1 digital file : WAV.