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..
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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.
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.
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.
July 28, 2009
Helen Goldkind discusses the humiliation she and her family experienced as they were forced by the Germans to move from their hometown of Volosyanka to the Uzhgorod ghetto in Czechoslovakia in 1944.
July 15, 2009
George Pick discusses experiencing antisemitism as a young boy in Hungary in the early 1940s. Hungary fell increasingly under the influence of Germany in the 1930s and joined the Axis alliance in 1940. During this time Jews in Hungary were increasingly subjected to discriminatory anti-Jewish laws modeled on those in Germany.
July 8, 2009
Regina Spiegel discusses her deportation from the ghetto in Pionki, Poland, and her arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi killing center. She and her boyfriend, Sam, were deported together in 1944 but were separated upon arrival at Auschwitz.
July 1, 2009
Julius Menn discusses his family's flight eastward from advancing German troops invading Poland in September 1939. Julius's family escaped from Bialystok, Poland, to Vilna, Lithuania, eventually making their way through the Soviet Union to Palestine, where they had previously lived.
May 19, 2009
Charlene Schiff discusses her and her mother’s escape in 1942 from the Horochow ghetto in Poland. Soon after their escape, Charlene was separated from her mother. She spent the rest of the war looking for her mother and hiding for her life in the forests.
May 12, 2009
Nesse Godin discusses the day her father was rounded up and deported with a group of others in the Siauliai ghetto, in Lithuania. Nesse never saw him again.