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Oral history interview with Rachel Kizhnerman and Shelly Weiner

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.103.7 | RG Number: RG-50.865.0007

Rachel Kizhnerman (born January 16, 1936) and her cousin Shelly Weiner (born August 25, 1937), both born in Rovno, Poland (now Rivne, Ukraine), describe being very young when the Holocaust began; their childhoods; Rachel’s early life in the little village of Miagin; Shelly recounts non-Jews being angry at her grandfather and poisoning his well after which the entire family was sick; the German occupation; having to wear the yellow star; Rachel's father being taken away and not seen again; Shelley’s memories of living in a ghetto with her mother in 1941; many of Shelly’s family being marched to trenches and shot; Shelly's mother escaping with Shelly to Rachel's mother's home; hiding with a neighboring farmer; hiding in his attic for 18 months and leaving in the summer time; hiding in cornfields in August and having no food or water for three days; returning to the farm, where the farmer made a place in the barn for them; playing games and telling stories to pass the time; Rachel's mother contracting pneumonia; the strength of their mothers; Shelly's house being bombed in 1944; being liberated by the Russian Army in 1944; Shelly learning that some of her cousins and her grandfather had been killed by Ukrainian nationalists; the pogroms in Poland after the war; Shelly and her mother staying in a displaced persons camp before immigrating to the US in 1949; Rachel and her mother returning to Ukraine and later Rachel attended school in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg, Russia); Shelly's mother finding Rachel and corresponding with her; Shelly's mother helping Rachel and her family to come to the US in 1980; initially settling in Philadelphia, PA; how Americanization was different for Shelly and Rachel; Shelly’s experience first sharing her story; Shelly becoming an active member in the NC State Council on the Holocaust; Rachel’s experience in the Soviet Union, where she people did not discuss the Holocaust; their children and speaking about their Holocaust experiences; and the lessons they learned from the Holocaust.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Weiner, Shelly
Kizhnerman, Rachel
Horn, Dr. Marcia
interview:  2006 November 14
1 DVD.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marcia Horn
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 19:54:20
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