Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Judd Nissanov and Magda Nissanov

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.250.10 | RG Number: RG-50.882.0010

Yudah (Judd) Nissanov, born in Poland in 1924, describes being the youngest of five children; seeing very quickly what the Nazis were capable of when they shot hundreds of Jews in the first two weeks they occupied his area of Poland in 1939; the Soviet Union taking over his region and staying until 1941; the Nazis returning and deciding to leave and walk east; catching a ride on a Soviet truck and joining a Soviet unit; changing his name and passing as Catholic; joining the Polish Army; being sent through Persia (Iran) en route to Africa; being part of the honor guard that stood at the gate for the Shah’s 22nd birthday; going to Jordan and Palestine en route to Egypt; crossing into Palestine and seeing signs in Hebrew; his decision to desert the army; hopping on a bus and going to kibbutz Negba, where he stayed to avoid British MPs who were looking for Polish deserters in the cities; and learning from another Polish refugee in 1943 about what was happening to the Jews in Poland under the Nazis.

Magda (Hebrew name Malka) Nissanov, born in Hungary in 1924, describes how her small town of 60,000 people contained only 5,000 Jews; Polish and Czech refugees arriving in Hungary in 1940 and hearing stories about the Nazis’ actions and about the Theresienstadt/Terezin ghetto; the Nazis arriving in her area in 1944; the formation of a ghetto in her neighborhood; her family having to have other families move into their small home; being injured when a pillar fell on her and sustaining a concussion; having limited memory of that time as a result of her injury; the deportation of Jews from her area to concentration camps; arriving in Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1944 and having to go through a selection process; she and her sister being separated from the rest of the family; being deported with her sister to a work camp in Bavaria, Germany; being in several camps, where she did jobs ranging from moving earth to nursing; being liberated from Dachau by the Americans in April 1945; and her health at the end of war after contracting typhus and enduring the camps.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Judd Nissanov
Magda Nissanov
Esther Finder
2 digital files : MOV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Toporek Finder
Record last modified: 2020-08-03 11:26:30
This page: