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Group portrait of youth at the Selvino Youth Aliyah children's home.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 49343

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    Group portrait of youth at the Selvino Youth Aliyah children's home.
    Group portrait of youth at the Selvino Youth Aliyah children's home.


    Group portrait of youth at the Selvino Youth Aliyah children's home.
    1945 - 1946
    Selvino, Italy
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of David B. Zugman

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: David B. Zugman

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    David Zugman (born Dov Bernard Zugman) is the only child of Josef Zugman and Ida Klinger Zugman. He was born on June 10, 1930 in Sokal, Poland where his father worked as a grain merchant and his mother as a seamstress. Since, the Bug River ran through Sokal, following the German-Soviet partition of Poland, the border ran right through the center of town. Dov's family, whose house was on the eastern shore, lived under Soviet rule. One week after the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union, Jewish men were ordered to report to the center of town. After first consulting with a friend who was a Ukrainian policeman, Josef reported as ordered. The Ukrainian police then selected 200 Jewish men including Josef, brought them to a brick factory and killed them. On September 17, 1942 Germans and Ukrainians rounded up 2,000 Jews from Sokal and deported them to Belzec where they were killed. Dov and his mother, having been forewarned by a member Judenrat, hid in a barn and survived. One month later, on October 15, 1942, the Germans established a ghetto in Sokal; Ida continued to work for Polish and Ukrainian customers and received food packages from friends in Italy. On one occasion, the German commander of the ghetto, summoned Dov to his office. He had heard that Dov was a stamp collector and wanted to know where he kept his collection. Dov told him that he had left it behind when the ghetto established. He slapped Dov, locked him in a cellar for three days and then released him. The Germans conducted a second Aktion in Sokal between October 24 and 28 herding Jews to the train station. While Ida was waiting for the train, a Ukrainian policeman approached her. She was in the in process of making a dress for his wife and begged for his help to no avail; he only was concerned about retrieving the fabric for the dress. After Ida and Dov boarded the train, some passengers dug a hole in the car's wall and jumped from the moving train. Dov convinced his mother that they should do so as well. They survived the jump and returned to the ghetto since they had nowhere else to go. Everyone on the train was taken straight to Belzec and killed. The third and final Aktion in Sokal took place on May 23, 1943. Dov's relatives had dug a bunker underground in advance of the Aktion. Thirty people squeezed inside and stayed there for 12 days until they ran out of food and water. 15 the escaped to the Wolyn area, which was controlled by Ukrainian partisans. Of those 13 were caught and killed. Ida and Dov first went to their former landlord, but as she was afraid to let them stay, they hid in a corn stack. They were discovered by Ukrainian police who stole everything they had, but let them go. Then they went to Wolyn and spent the next five months living with other Jews. Ida supported herself and Dov with her sewing. However, by December the local Ukrainians began attacking the town's Polish and Jewish residents. His mother begged the villagers she knew, for something to eat. They gave her food but betrayed her to the Ukrainian nationalists who killed her. After his mother's death, a family of religious Baptists discovered Dov and hid him for a few days. Once they feared keeping him any longer, Dov wandered from place to place begging for a place to stay. Eventually he met a family of Jehovah's Witnesses who sheltered him for five months until liberation. After returning to Sokol, Dr. Kindler, the obstetrician who had delivered him, invited Dov to live with him. Dr. Kindler, his wife and two children had survived the war hidden by a Polish woman who had saved three other Jewish families as well. Dov eventually abandoned his new faith. Dr. Kindler was a Zionist and decided to bring his family and Dov to Palestine. They connected with the Brichah in Krakow and traveled from there to Italy by way of Romania, Hungary and Austria. After arriving in Italy, Dov, who was suffering from a skin disease, was taken to a hospital and then sent to the House of Sciesopoli in Selvino. Formally a Fascist resort, Selvino now served as a Youth Aliyah children's home and education center under the direction of Moshe Zeiri of the Jewish Brigade. A total of 800 child survivors passed through the home. While he was in Selvino, Dov's Uncle Henry from New York contacted him and told him he wanted to bring him to America. After this contact, Moshe Zeiri expelled Dov from the home since he feared his presence would diminish the school's strong Zionist ideology. Dov left Selvino on October 7, 1946 for an Italian boarding school. In March 1948 his uncle arranged for him to join a transport to Canada of 1,000 child survivors sponsored by the Canadian Jewish Congress. Dov completed high school in Montreal and then shortly before his graduation, in June 1950, immigrated to the United States.
    Record last modified:
    2006-01-23 00:00:00
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