Oral History

Israel Ipson describes forced labor to construct an airplane runway

Israel was raised in Kovno, Lithuania, and graduated from law school there in 1933. Because of anti-Jewish discrimination, he was unable to practice law. The Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, occupying Lithuania. The Kovno ghetto was established that August. By claiming to be a mechanic, Israel escaped several massacres. He was forced to work on a wooden airport runway outside the ghetto. After he escaped, Israel, his wife, and son hid in a potato pit for 9 months until liberation by Soviet forces in 1944.



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