Get a small glimpse into the unimaginable experiences that shaped Holocaust survivors and witnesses—and shaped our world. Personal accounts drawn from the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University.
Episode 10 — Judith Perlaki
Teenaged Judith Perlaki recalled cheating death twice after being deported from Hungary to Auschwitz. But most of her family wasn’t so fortunate. While assigned to sort the belongings of people sent to the gas chambers, Judith discovered the dresses of her little sister and aunt.
Episode 9 — Elias Recanati
When the Germans took control of the Greek city of Salonika, Elias Racanati’s family had one chance to escape—his mother’s family hailed from Spain. But they had to cross German-occupied Europe to get there.
Episode 8 — Malka Baran
Malka Baran expressed her love of children by caring for a toddler hidden in the barracks of a concentration camp and teaching first grade at her DP camp. It was the start of her lifelong commitment to early-childhood education.
Episode 7 - Leon Pommers
Fleeing Warsaw ahead of the invading Nazis, concert pianist Leon Pommers was propelled into a perilous journey around the world in hopes of reuniting with his sister in America.
Episode 6 - Esther Schwartzman
As Polish Jews fled across the border into Hungary bearing stories of Nazi atrocities, Esther Schwartzman’s family and community didn’t believe that such things could happen to them. Then in early 1944, everything changed.
Episode 5 - Abram Merczynski
When Abram Merczynski’s brother organized an orchestra in the Lodz ghetto, Abram promised himself that if he survived the war, he’d learn to play the violin. He lived—and kept his promise.
Mind Expanding and Inspiring
To hear the testimonies of those who lived through and survived the Holocaust gives me reason to appreciate freedom and motivates me to be compassionate toward others in todays world ✝️🙏🏻👤🌵🐕🏌️🌅🇺🇸
Heartbreaking and interesting
The voices of these people tell a traumatic story that I just can’t believe they were able to live through. They are all so strong and tell their story that just amazes me. How they survived the conditions and abuse is astonishing. How they found family afterwards is such a miracle. We must never forget. I am constantly learning.
Life affirming interviews
Moving heart breaking descriptions of the horrors of the Holocaust are not expected to be life affirming. But that is the feeling I get after listening. Strength, perseverance, faith and hope are the traits each of the people interviewed convey.