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Oral history interview with Elia Miranski and Genia Miranski

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.74.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0206

Elia Miranski, born on August 3, 1922 in Mir, Poland (present day Belarus), describes growing up in a poor, moderately religious family but experiencing no antisemitism until the German invasion in 1939; his parents’ deaths in the first few days of the occupation; escaping with his brother, Israel, from the ghetto which had been set up in a castle; joining Russian partisans in the forest; blowing up railroad tracks for two years; trains near Valozhyn, Belarus; planes dropping supplies; others taking the wounded away from the front lines; Russians mobilizing all partisans into the army; being wounded by the Germans; traveling back to Mir after the war; working on a dairy farm for seven years as a supervisor; moving to Minsk, Belarus and working as a house painter; getting married and having a daughter; going to Israel in 1972 and then to the United States in 1995; thinking day and night about his wartime experiences; and going back to Mir from Israel for a memorial ceremony in the cemetery.

Genia Miranski, daughter of Elia Miranski, adds to her father’s interview by translating it into English and by describing Elia’s membership in the Zionist youth group Hashomer Hatzair; Elia’s parents and two younger siblings being shot by Germans; Elia building bridges and roads; witnessing his friend being mauled to death by a dog; living in the castle ghetto; Elia’s experience escaping and hiding in a swamp for three days and at times breathing through a straw when German dogs were nearby; joining Russian partisans; his return to Minsk at the end of the war and experiencing a significant amount of antisemitism; the Six Day War in Israel; going to an underground bakery at night to get Passover matzo; arriving in Israel in 1972; living in underground bunkers in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War; and her own arrival in the U.S. in 1985 and her parents’ arrival in 1995.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Genia Miranski
Elia Miranski
Gail Schwartz
interview:  2013 May 19
2 digital files : WAV.
Record last modified: 2023-11-16 08:13:03
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