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Oral history interview with Harriet Leikach Schulman

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.306.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0263

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Harriet Schulman (née Hinda Leikach), born in Lutsk, Ukraine on July 10, 1938, discusses having a large extended family; growing up speaking only Yiddish; her father Moishe, who transported wheat from a flour mill and was liked by non-Jews who later helped the family to hide; her mother Etta and her younger sister Shulamit (later Shirley); moving to nearby Perespa, Ukraine; the German invasion in 1941; being sent to a ghetto; men being taken to dig ditches; her father and other men killing the German guard; escaping the ghetto with her mother and sister and living in the attic of a farmhouse; being joined by her father’s sisters Etta and Rivka; no longer being allowed to hide in the farmhouse; Shulamit being sent to hide with a Polish Catholic family until 1945; hiding in various places; going without food numerous times; being frightened by soldiers in uniform who shoved her around; her grandmother, who was dragged outside by soldiers and shot when she fought back; being taken to a barn with her parents five months before the end of the war; being taken into the woods with her parents by a Hungarian soldier and two German guards and being released soon after; going with her parents to hide with another family; her father going to retrieve Shulamit, who did not want to leave the Polish family she was hiding with; her family’s return to Poland, where her father opened a bakery; meeting David Ben Gurion who came to arrange for Jewish children to go to Palestine; going to a displaced persons camp near Stuttgart, Germany; learning Hebrew and getting care packages from the United States; the hospitalization of her sister for three months; sailing to Boston, MA in March 1949 with her family; living in Baltimore, MD; graduating from a public high school; getting married in 1958; having two sons; attending college for one year and then working as a bookkeeper in her husband’s store; being robbed in the store at gunpoint which painfully brought back her wartime experiences; seeing a psychiatrist; not telling her children about her experiences; her feeling that she does not have much in common with non-survivors; receiving reparations; and details on the feelings she still grapples with regarding the Holocaust and her experiences.

Interviewee
Harriet Leikach Schulman
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
2017 August 29  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : WAV.