The Rita and Harold Divine Documentary Series

Ten Stories of Holocaust Survivors in New Orleans

In the years following World War II, a small group of Holocaust survivors settled in New Orleans, Louisiana. Beginnning in 1993, many of these survivors began telling their stories to school children throughout the Deep South as part of a Holocaust education program conducted by the Southern Institute. This series of 30-minute interviews was conducted in 2000 by Plater Robinson, Education Director for the Southern Institute.

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EVA GALLER
Eva, eldest of eight children, was born in Oleszyce, a town in eastern Poland where Jews lived amoung Poles and Ukrainians. When the Germans attacked Poland in September 1939, Eva was 14 years old. Three thousand Jewish people lived in Oleszyce before World War II. Only twenty survived.
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DORA NIEDERMAN
Dora was born in the Carpathian Mountains of Czechoslovakia. Her region was annexed in 1939 by Hungary, Hitler's ally. In 1944, the Nazis occupied Hungarian territory and, with local collaborators, deported the Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
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JEANNINE BURK
Jeannine was born on September 15, 1939, fifteen days after World War II began. She lived with her family in Brussels, Belgium. In 1942, the Nazis began deporting Belgian Jews to Auschwitz death camp in Poland. Jeannine's parents put her in the care of a Christian woman. The Nazi penalty for sheltering Jews was imprisonment or death.
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FELICIA FUKSMAN
Felicia was 19 when the Nazis attacked her native Poland in September 1939. She lived with her parents, two brothers, and two sisters in Lodz, a large industrial city. During the Nazi occupation, Felicia worked as a nurse in the Lodz ghetto; in 1944, she was sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp.
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SIGMUND BORAKS
Sigmund (Siggy) was 14 years old when the Nazis occupied his hometown of Wielun, Poland, in September 1939. With his parents and younger sister Basha, Siggy was sent to two Nazi ghettos. He received a 'green card' (work card) that exempted him from 'evacuation' to Treblinka death camp.
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SHEP ZITLER
Shep was born in Vilna, Lithuania, in 1917. After World War I, newly independent Poland annexed Vilna. Shep was drafted into the Polish army in early 1939. When World War II began in September 1939, he was captured by the Germans near Warsaw.
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MARTIN WASSERMAN
Martin was born in Warsaw, Poland. He was 14 when World War II began in 1939. After the Germans occupied Warsaw, Martin was grabbed off the street and sent as a slave laborer to a Nazi weapons factory in Radom, Poland.
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ISAAC NIEDERMAN
Isaac was born in Transylvania, Romania. In 1939, Nazi-allied Hungary annexed that region. Isaac was fifteen years old. Jews were beaten, expropriated, and forced into ghettos.
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ANNE LEVY
Anne was four years old when the Nazis attacked and occupied Poland in September 1939. In January 1943, the family escaped the ghetto and survived the rest of the war pretending to be Christians.
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LILA MILLEN
Lila was two years old when the Nazis occupied her native Poland in September 1939. With her sister (Anne Levy) and parents, Lila endured two years of terror and starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto.
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This series was funded by the Rita and Harold Divine Foundation, the Siggy Boraks Family, and made possible by the generous contribution of video production services of WDSU-TV in New Orleans.


Copyright © 2007 by the Southern Institute for Education and Research. Permission is granted to copy the videos for educational, non-profit purposes only.