More than 70 years after the Holocaust, hatred, antisemitism, and genocide still threaten our world. The life stories of Holocaust survivors transcend the decades and remind us of the constant need to be vigilant citizens and to stop injustice, prejudice, and hatred wherever and whenever they occur.
This podcast series features excerpts from 48 interviews with Holocaust survivors conducted at the Museum as part of our First Person public program. Listen to these interview excerpts below. You can also watch video recordings of interviews from our First Person seasons here.
First Person is made possible by generous support from the Louis Franklin Smith Foundation with additional funding from the Arlene and Daniel Fisher Foundation..
September 29, 2010
In today's episode, Holocaust survivors share their thoughts on the importance of speaking about their experiences. It is our tradition at First Person that each guest speaker ends the program with their "final words." In our final podcast of the series, we close with those thoughts, reflections, and hopes for the future.
August 11, 2010
Estelle Laughlin discusses the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, when German forces, intending to liquidate the ghetto on April 19, 1943, were stunned by an armed uprising from Jewish fighters. Estelle and her family hid in an underground bunker during the uprising but were eventually captured and deported.
July 13, 2010
Theodora (Dora) Klayman discusses surviving the war in hiding with her brother in Ludbreg, Yugoslavia. After her parents were deported in 1941, she spent the war first with her maternal aunt and then, after her aunt was denounced and deported, with non-Jewish neighbors.
June 8, 2010
Steven Fenves discusses being forced into a ghetto immediately following the German occupation of his hometown of Subotica, Yugoslavia, in March 1944. As his family was forced out of their home, they encountered a range of responses from their non-Jewish neighbors.
May 11, 2010
Alfred Munzer discusses the difficult decisions his parents, Dutch Jews, had to make after learning in early 1941 that they were expecting a child. Germany had invaded the Netherlands in May 1940 and conditions were growing increasingly difficult for Jews by the time Al was born.
April 27, 2010
Josiane (Josy) Traum discusses her memories of life in hiding at a Carmelite convent in Brugge, Belgium. In 1942, as conditions grew increasingly more dangerous for Jews living in German-occupied Belgium, her mother, Fanny, arranged to have Belgian nuns hide her three-year-old daughter in the convent.
August 26, 2009
Henry Greenbaum discusses his attempt to escape from a slave labor camp near Starahowice, Poland, with his sister Faige and a Jewish policeman in July 1944.
August 19, 2009
Haim Solomon discusses hiding during the pogrom that Romanian authorities staged against the Jewish population in Iasi, Romania, within days of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Haim and his family hid in various different locations across the city. At least 4,000 Jews were murdered in Iasi during the pogrom.
August 12, 2009
Margit Meissner discusses her flight from Paris just before the city fell to the Germans in June 1940. Margit and her mother were Austrian citizens living in Paris, which meant they were considered “enemy aliens” because Austria was annexed by Germany in 1938. They were ultimately separated and Margit was left with the responsibility of getting safely out of Paris on her own.
August 5, 2009
Gerald Schwab discusses his experience being drafted into the US Army in 1944 after fleeing Nazi Germany just four years earlier. After the war, he assisted with the trials of leading German officials before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.