Oral History

Alan Zimm describes liberation from Bergen-Belsen

The Germans occupied Kolo in 1939. In 1942 Alan was deported to the Lodz ghetto where he worked in food distribution. He took food each day to Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, chairman of the Jewish council. In 1944 Alan was forced to unload trainloads of coal and munitions in Czestochowa. In 1945 he was sent to the Dora-Mittelbau camp. As the Soviet army advanced, the inmates were transferred to Bergen-Belsen, where British forces liberated them in April.


Critical Thinking Questions

How do oral histories differ from other primary sources such as artifacts, documents, and photographs? What can we learn from different types of primary sources?

What other source materials might be helpful to provide more historical context for this eyewitness testimony? What aspects of the history might these other source materials help reveal?

Explore the Museum's website and Collections to learn more about liberation.


  • Jewish Community Federation of Richmond
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