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  • Alisa (Lisa) Nussbaum Derman describes postwar emigration with the Brihah movement

    Oral History

    Lisa was one of three children born to a religious Jewish family. Following the German occupation of her hometown in 1939, Lisa and her family moved first to Augustow and then to Slonim (in Soviet-occupied eastern Poland). German troops captured Slonim in June 1941, during the invasion of the Soviet Union. In Slonim, the Germans established a ghetto which existed from 1941 to 1942. Lisa eventually escaped from Slonim, and went first to Grodno and then to Vilna, where she joined the resistance movement. She…

    Alisa (Lisa) Nussbaum Derman describes postwar emigration with the Brihah movement
  • Henny Fletcher Aronsen describes arrival at the Stutthof camp

    Oral History

    Henny was born into an upper-middle-class Jewish family in Kovno, Lithuania. She and her brother attended private schools. In June 1940 the Soviets occupied Lithuania, but little seemed to change until the German invasion in June 1941. The Germans sealed off a ghetto in Kovno in August 1941. Henny and her family were forced to move into the ghetto. Henny married in the ghetto in November 1943; her dowry was a pound of sugar. She survived several roundups during which some of her friends and family were…

    Tags: Stutthof
    Henny Fletcher Aronsen describes arrival at the Stutthof camp
  • Doris Greenberg describes arrival procedures at Ravensbrück

    Oral History

    The Germans invaded Poland in 1939 and established a ghetto in Warsaw in 1940. After her parents were deported, Doris hid with her sister and other relatives. Doris's sister and an uncle were killed, and she learned that her parents had been killed. Her grandmother committed suicide. Doris was smuggled out of the ghetto and lived as a non-Jewish maid and cook, but was ultimately deported to the Ravensbrück camp. Upon arrival there, Doris and her friend Pepi contemplated swallowing poison, but decided…

    Doris Greenberg describes arrival procedures at Ravensbrück
  • Ruth Webber describes witnessing a brutal punishment in the camp at Ostrowiec

    Oral History

    Ruth was four years old when the Germans invaded Poland and occupied Ostrowiec. Her family was forced into a ghetto. Germans took over her father's photography business, although he was allowed to continue working outside the ghetto. Before the ghetto was liquidated, Ruth's parents sent her sister into hiding, and managed to get work at a labor camp outside the ghetto. Ruth also went into hiding, either in nearby woods or within the camp itself. When the camp was liquidated, Ruth's parents were split up.…

    Tags: camps children
    Ruth Webber describes witnessing a brutal punishment in the camp at Ostrowiec
  • Esther Raab recalls the arrival of transports in Sobibor

    Oral History

    Esther was born to a middle-class Jewish family in Chelm, Poland. In December 1942, she was deported from a work camp to the Sobibor killing center in occupied Poland. Upon arrival at Sobibor, Esther was selected to work in a sorting shed. She sorted clothing and the possessions of the people killed at the camp. During the summer and fall of 1943, Esther was among a group of prisoners in the Sobibor camp who planned an uprising and escape. Leon Feldhendler and Aleksandr (Sasha) Pechersky were the leaders…

    Esther Raab recalls the arrival of transports in Sobibor
  • Alisa (Lisa) Nussbaum Derman describes joining the Nekama (Revenge) Jewish partisan unit led by Josef Glazman in the Naroch Forest

    Oral History

    Lisa was one of three children born to a religious Jewish family. Following the German occupation of her hometown in 1939, Lisa and her family moved first to Augustow and then to Slonim (in Soviet-occupied eastern Poland). German troops captured Slonim in June 1941, during the invasion of the Soviet Union. In Slonim, the Germans established a ghetto which existed from 1941 to 1942. Lisa eventually escaped from Slonim, and went first to Grodno and then to Vilna, where she joined the resistance movement. She…

    Alisa (Lisa) Nussbaum Derman describes joining the Nekama (Revenge) Jewish partisan unit led by Josef Glazman in the Naroch Forest
  • Leo Bretholz describes resistance training and activities in a French underground group he joined in 1943

    Oral History

    After the Germans annexed Austria in 1938, Leo attempted to flee. He eventually reached Belgium. In 1940 he was deported to the St.-Cyprien camp in France but escaped. In 1942 Leo was smuggled into Switzerland but was arrested and sent back to France, this time to the Rivesaltes and Drancy camps. He and a friend escaped from a train deporting them to Auschwitz in Poland. Leo joined the French underground in 1943. He arrived in the United States in 1947.

    Leo Bretholz describes resistance training and activities in a French underground group he joined in 1943
  • The Lodz Ghetto

    Animated Map

    View an animated map of key events in the history of the Lodz ghetto in occupied Poland, from establishment by the Germans in 1940 until destruction in 1944.

    The Lodz Ghetto
  • Bart Stern describes how he survived to be liberated in the Auschwitz camp

    Oral History

    Following the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Bart was forced into a ghetto established in his home town. From May to July 1944, the Germans deported Jews from Hungary to the Auschwitz killing center in occupied Poland. Bart was deported by cattle car to Auschwitz. At Auschwitz, he was selected to perform forced labor, drilling and digging in a coal mine. As Soviet forces advanced toward the Auschwitz camp in January 1945, the Germans forced most of the prisoners on a death march out of the…

    Bart Stern describes how he survived to be liberated in the Auschwitz camp

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