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Oral history interviews with Morris Abrams, Irving Abramowitz, and Arel Laro

Oral History | Accession Number: 2012.460.1 | RG Number: RG-50.734.0001

Morris Abrams (né Abramowitz), Irving Abramowitz, and Arel Laro (né Lazerowich) discuss the history of Minsk, Belarus and the nearby cities of Rudki, Lida, and Baranovichi; the Russian-Communist occupation starting in 1939 for 22 months; the Torah writers of Minsk; the Russian education system; the German invasion July 1941 and the ghetto of Minsk, Belarus; the nighttime forced labor and mass grave digging; the food shortages and escaping the ghetto to find food and some people never returning; the addition of the local Romani and disabled populations; the mass shooting of 200-300 Jews on April 28-29, 1942 behind a local synagogue; the local antisemitic views of the non-Jewish population and the popular chant “Save Russia, Kill the Jews”; moving to the labor camp Neuengamme and escaping within six days; the formation of the partisan movement in the Minsk ghetto and its growth throughout the war mainly in Zhetel, Belarus (present day Dzyatlava, Belarus); being involved with the partisans for two years; the winter of 1943 and the destruction of German railroad tracks and supply trains; joining the Russian Soviet Army and receiving formal training; Russian hospitalization and treatments; deserting the Soviet Army and escaping to the American side of the war in 1944; returning to Zhetel after the war ended; immigrating to the United States; changing their last names; and how the three men reunited after immigrating separately to the United States.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Morris Abrams
Irving Abramowitz
Arel Laro
interview:  1991 June 08-1993 September 21
4 DVD : MPEG-2.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Charles Abrams
Record last modified: 2020-07-09 14:33:47
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