Oral History

Miles Lerman describes observing Yom Kippur in his partisan group

Miles Lerman was a Holocaust survivor, partisan fighter in the forests of Poland, international leader in the cause of Holocaust remembrance, and a "founding father" of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


We came back from an engagement where we were fighting a Ukrainian group, all partisans. And it was a bad ... we lost a few guys. And it was very, very tiresome, because we had to escape, we had to run, and we had to counterattack. It was not one of the best days for us, it was one of the bad days for us. And we came in, and one guy says, "Fellas, do you know what is tonight? Tonight is Yom Kippur." We didn't have prayer books, and we were not that terribly frum [observant] but one guy who remembered the prayers, stood up, and started singing, you know, the Kol Nidre. Joan, I'll never forget that. I'll never, never forget that. It was so emotional, you know.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum
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