The Eyewitness to History video library enables audiences everywhere to hear firsthand testimony from Holocaust survivors. This resource allows schools, civic groups, military bases, and other institutions to incorporate survivor voices into their Holocaust remembrance events as well as other learning opportunities.
Video length: 10 minutes
In this video: Czechoslovakia, Ghetto, Auschwitz, Majdanek
Ruth Cohen was born in Munkacs, Czechoslovakia, in 1930. She and her family were forced into a ghetto and later deported to Auschwitz. Ruth and her sister Teresa were liberated by the United States Army in early 1945.
Video length: Testimony (20 minutes), Conversation (46 minutes)
In this video: Germany, Early Warning Signs, Antisemitic legislation, American GI
Frank Cohn was born in 1925, in Breslau, Germany, where he experienced antisemitism following the enactment of a variety of anti-Jewish laws. Frank came to the United States in 1938, just before Kristallnacht. He returned to Europe in 1943 as a member of the 12th Army Group Intelligence Unit.
Video length: 8 minutes
In this video: Slovakia, Hidden Children, Righteous Among the Nations
Arye Ephrath was born in the Nazi German client state of Slovakia in 1942. His family avoided deportation for a number of years before going into hiding in Šišov, an isolated village in western Slovakia, in 1944. Arye spent the rest of the war hiding with a local shepherd and his family and pretending to be a girl to avoid suspicion, while his parents were hidden by a different family in a hole beneath a barn floor.
Video length: 45 minutes
In this video: Germany, France, American Quakers, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon
Peter Feigl was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1929. Fleeing antisemitism, the family ended up in southern France in 1940. He was attending a Quaker summer camp when his parents were arrested and sent to Auschwitz. Peter was hidden by residents in the Protestant village Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and eventually made his way to neutral Switzerland with the help of the Jewish underground.
Video length: 55 minutes
In this video: Hungary, Antisemitism, Auschwitz, Death March
Steven Fenves was born in Subotica, Yugoslavia, in 1931. Hungary occupied his home region in April 1941. After the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, Steven was deported first to a transit ghetto, and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Steven was chosen to be an interpreter for the German Kapos. He joined the Birkenau resistance and was smuggled out of Auschwitz on a transport headed for another camp. Following a death march, Steven was liberated by American troops at Buchenwald in April 1945.
Video length: Testimony (9 minutes), Conversation (53 minutes)
In this video: Poland, Mobile Killing Squad, Ghetto, Hiding
Allan Firestone was born in Kolomea, Poland, in 1933. A couple of months after Allan’s parents and one of his sisters were murdered by Ukrainian auxiliary police in 1942, Allan and his remaining family members were forced into a ghetto. When conditions in the ghetto worsened, Allan and his one surviving sister hid in the apartment of a Gentile until liberation.
Video length: 50 minutes
In this video: France, Occupied Paris, Hidden Children
Albert Garih was born in Paris, France, in 1938. When Albert’s father was deported to a forced labor camp in the Channel Islands, the rest of the Garih family went into hiding. Albert, along with his mother and two older sisters, were first hidden with the Galop family before threats of denunciation forced them to find other places to avoid detection.
Video length: 54 minutes
In this video: Poland, Ghetto, Partisans
Rae Mutterperl Goldfarb was born in Dokszyce, Poland, in 1930. Rae and her family were forced to live in a ghetto before escaping and going into hiding with Gentiles. After her brother was denounced and killed, Rae and her mother joined a group of partisan fighters with whom they remained until liberation in 1944.
Video length: 48 minutes
In this video: Hungary, Antisemitism, Hiding
Peter Gorog was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1941. The Hungarian government enacted increasingly oppressive antisemitic laws and in 1942 Peter’s father was sent to occupied Ukraine as part of a forced labor battalion. He never returned. After the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, Peter and his mother, Olga, briefly found refuge with a family friend until a neighbor denounced them. After being arrested and jailed, Olga escaped and returned to Peter. They stayed in an internationally protected apartment before being forced to move into the Budapest ghetto, which was liberated by the Soviet Army in January 1945.
Video length: Testimony (6 minutes), Conversation (45 minutes)
In this video: Yugoslavia, Croatia, Ustaša, Jasenovac
Theodora (Dora) Klayman was born in 1938 in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Dora survived hiding with her Catholic uncle and neighbors in Croatia. Her parents and many other family members were murdered by Nazi collaborators, the Ustaša, in the Jasenovac concentration camp.
Video length: 18 minutes
In this video: Poland, Warsaw Ghetto, Resistance, Majdanek
Estelle Laughlin was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1929. Estelle and her family were forced to live in the Warsaw ghetto until the uprising there. She survived the camps Majdanek, Skarzysko, and Czestochowa.
Video length: Testimony (6 minutes), Conversation (49 minutes)
In this video: The Netherlands, Hidden Children, Resistance
Louise Lawrence-Israëls was born in Haarlem, the Netherlands, in 1942. When she was six months old, her family went into hiding in an attic in German-occupied Amsterdam. Louise’s parents tried to provide as normal a childhood as possible for Louise and her older brother. When Louise was almost three, Canadian forces liberated Amsterdam and her family was finally able to leave their hiding place.
Video length: 49 minutes
In this video: Germany, Antisemitism
Frank Liebermann was born in Gleiwitz, Germany, in 1929. Frank experienced rampant antisemitism as a young boy in Nazi Germany. He was not allowed to play in parks or swim in local pools and soon became a target for bullying by his non-Jewish classmates. Frank and his family were able to immigrate to the United States in 1938, just before Kristallnacht.
Video length: 10 minutes
In this video: Latvia, Pogrom, Kasztner Train, Bergen-Belsen
Manny Mandel (born in 1936 in Riga, Latvia) grew up in Budapest, Hungary. Manny was chosen for a special exchange in which the Nazis traded his life and those of other Hungarian Jews for money and war supplies (the “Kasztner Train”). He survived internment at Bergen-Belsen before finding refuge in Switzerland and immigrating to Mandatory Palestine.
Video length: Testimony (10 minutes), Conversation (53 minutes)
In this video: The Netherlands, Hidden Children, Indonesia
Alfred Münzer was born in the German-occupied Netherlands in 1941. At one year old, Al was placed into the care of a Dutch-Indonesian family for his protection. After liberation, Al’s mother, who survived several concentration camps including Auschwitz, returned and they were reunited.
Video length: 48 minutes
In this video: Poland, Antisemitism, Hiding
Halina Peabody was born in Krakow, Poland, in 1932, and moved to Zaleszczyki soon after. After Germany invaded eastern Poland in 1941, Halina, her sister, and their mother were forced to move into an open ghetto. Halina’s mother managed to buy documents from a Catholic priest allowing the family to assume new identities which helped them avoid capture by the Nazis. They were reunited with Halina’s father who had been a member of the Anders army. After the war, the family settled in England.
Video length: 37 minutes
In this video: Hungary, Budapest, Hidden Children
George Pick was born in 1934 in Budapest, Hungary. After Nazi Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, George and his family were required to move into designated housing for Jews. Threats of deportation from Hungarian fascists, who were collaborating with the Nazis, forced the family into hiding. George was sent to an orphanage run by the Swiss Red Cross when their hiding spot was discovered, but he soon escaped and returned to his family. The family was then forced into the Budapest ghetto, where they were held under appalling conditions until their liberation.
Video length: 45 minutes
In this video: Romania
Nat Shaffir was born in 1936 in Iasi, Romania. In 1942, Nat’s family was identified to the authorities as Jewish by a local Catholic priest and forced to leave their large dairy farm. They were forced into the Socola neighborhood of Iasi, where they lived in cramped conditions with other families. When Nat’s father was taken for forced labor, Nat, not yet 8 years old, was put in charge of taking care of the family. His father returned in 1945 and the family eventually immigrated to Israel.
Video length: Testimony (21 minutes), Conversation (45 minutes)
In this video: Paris, France, Antisemitic Legislation, False Identity, Hidden Children
Rose-Helene Spreiregen was born in 1931 in Paris, France, where she experienced steadily increasing persecution of Jews during the Nazi occupation beginning in 1940. She and her grandmother escaped the city and survived the war hiding in a small town in southern France, where they had to forage food from the forest.
Video length: 38 minutes
In this video: England, Child Refugee, Kindertransport, Germany
Esther Starobin was born in Adelsheim, Germany, in 1937. When she was just two years old, Esther’s parents sent her and her three older sisters to England on the Kindertransport. Esther spent the next eight years with a foster family, largely unaware of what was happening to her parents and brother who had remained in Germany.
Video length: 52 minutes
In this video: Germany, France, Kristallnacht, Antisemitism, Refugee
Susan Warsinger was born in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, in 1929. Following Kristallnacht, Susan and her brother, Joseph, were smuggled into France. After Germany invaded France in May 1940, they were evacuated from a children’s home in Paris and fled with their guardians to the unoccupied part of the country. They eventually immigrated to the United States in September 1941 and were reunited with their parents and younger brother.
Video length: 52 minutes
In this video: Czechoslovakia, Auschwitz, Selection, Forced March
Irene Weiss was born in 1930 in Bótrágy, Czechoslovakia. She, her parents, and her five siblings were forced into a ghetto in Munkács before being sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Irene sorted items stolen from prisoners for eight months and later survived a forced march.