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Eyewitness To History

The Eyewitness to History video library enables audiences everywhere to hear firsthand testimony from Holocaust survivors. This resource allows schools, civic and religious 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 Mukačevo, Czechoslovakia, in 1930. The territory was annexed by Hungary, a Nazi ally, in 1938. After Nazi Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, Ruth and her family were forced into a ghetto and later deported to Auschwitz. Ruth and her sister, Teresa, were then sent to another camp. They were liberated 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 by the Nazi government. Frank came to the United States in 1938, just before Kristallnacht. He returned to Germany with the American military as a member of the 12th Army Group Intelligence Unit.

  • Video length: Testimony (8 minutes), Conversation (47 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, his 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 Kołomyja, Poland, in 1933. During the German occupation, Allan’s parents and one of his sisters were murdered by Ukrainian auxiliary police in early 1942. Then, 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 non-Jewish family until liberation.

  • Video length: 50 minutes

    In this video: France, Occupied Paris, Hidden Children

    Albert Garih was born in Paris, France, in 1938. When the Nazis arrested Albert’s father and sent him to a forced labor camp in the German-occupied Channel Islands, the rest of the Garih family went into hiding. Albert, his mother, and his two older sisters first hid 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

    Rachel (Rae) Mutterperl Goldfarb was born in Dokszyce, Poland, in 1930. During the German occupation, Rae and her family were forced to live in a ghetto. They escaped during a roundup and went into hiding with Gentiles. After her brother was denounced and killed, Rae and her mother fled to another ghetto and then 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 by 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. During the Holocaust, German authorities forced Estelle and her family to live in horrible conditions in the Warsaw ghetto. After Germans discovered the family’s hiding place during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, they were sent to the Lublin/Majdanek concentration camp. Estelle survived Majdanek and labor camps in Skarżysko and Częstochowa.

  • 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: Testimony (10 minutes), Conversation (45 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: 46 minutes

    In this video: Paris, France, Antisemitic Legislation, False Identity, Hidden Children 

    Joël Nommick was born in 1942 in Mâcon, France, although his family lived in Thoissey, a town nearby. Nazi Germany had defeated France in June 1940. In the following years, German occupation authorities and the collaborationist French government enacted antisemitic legislation and restrictions that made life dangerous for Jews. Though they received assistance and some food from neighbors, the family feared discovery and deportation. Joël’s father was arrested in 1942 and held in eight different prisons, military hospitals, and concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Allied forces liberated most of France in 1944, but Joël’s father never returned.

  • 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 later 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 Iași, Romania. In 1942, a local Catholic priest identified Nat’s family as Jewish to the Romanian authorities, who then forced them to leave their large dairy farm. They had to move into the Socola neighborhood of Iași, where they lived in cramped conditions with other Jewish families. When Nat’s father was taken for forced labor, he put Nat, who was not yet eight years old, in charge of taking care of the family. Nat’s 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 Kindertransports. Esther spent the next eight years with a foster family, largely unaware of what was happening to her parents and brother, who had remained behind 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: 35 minutes

    In this video: Austria, Early Warning Signs, Antisemitic Legislation, Aquitania, Refugee

    Henry Weil was born in 1935, in Vienna, Austria. After Nazi Germany annexed Austria in March 1938, antisemitic legislation and violence prompted Henry’s father to make plans for the family to emigrate. In 1939, the family was forced out of their apartment, and a week later they began their journey to safety. The Weils made their way to Paris and then England, fearing bombings and air raids along the way. Henry and his parents left for the United States on the SS Aquitania on September 9, 1939. Later, Henry learned that half of his extended family had been murdered in the Holocaust.

  • Video length: 52 minutes

    In this video: Czechoslovakia, Auschwitz, Selection, Forced March 

    Irene Weiss was born in 1930 in Bótrágy, Czechoslovakia. After the Hungarians annexed the territory, her family experienced antisemitic persecution. Then, after Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, she, her parents, and her five siblings were forced into a transit ghetto in Munkács before being deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. For eight months, Irene was required to perform forced labor sorting items stolen from victims. She later survived a death march.