Module 3: Religion & Culture
These oral histories highlight Jewish experiences of being saved by Christians.
Oral History: Raoul Korngold
Raoul Korngold, born in 1936 in Strasbourg, France. Child survivor, survived under false identity in France. In this oral history, French Jewish survivor Raoul Kornberg describes how he and other Jewish children were hidden as Catholics in a French summer camp run by Miss Barbie. When he accidentally revealed himself to be a hidden Jew, Miss Barbie gathered him and two other children into her office to ensure they could all genuflect properly and not be revealed as Jews. To see the complete half hour video, please click here.
Oral History: Arthur Ney
In his memoir W Hour, twelve-year-old Arthur Ney hid outside the Warsaw ghetto walls as the ghetto uprising began in the spring of 1943, then fled to the countryside with false papers that identified him as a Polish Christian. Returning to Warsaw months later, he faced the realization that his family was gone. He spent the rest of the war in a Catholic orphanage, struggling with loneliness, guilt, fear and indecision about living under a false identity. When the Warsaw Uprising—codenamed W Hour—began on August 1, 1944, Arthur Ney joined the barricades and fought for liberation. –the Azrieli Foundation.
W Hour by Arthur Ney
To learn more about Arthur’s life and Holocaust experience, click here to visit the Azrieli Foundation’s Re:Collection.
Oral History: Elly Bollegraaf
Elly Bollegraaf, born in 1940 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Survived as a hidden child in the south of Holland. In this Oral History, Elly Bollegraaf describes how a priest arranged to have her hidden with a Catholic family. To see the complete half hour video, please click here.
Oral History: Eva Meisels
Eva Meisels was born in Budapest, Hungary, on July 3, 1939. In November 1944, she and her mother ended up in the Budapest Ghetto. They acquired false papers from Raoul Wallenberg and were liberated by the Soviet army in January 1945. After the Hungarian Revolution, the family immigrated to Canada. Eva and her husband Leslie Meisel’s story is told in the memoir, Suddenly the Shadow Fell. –The Azrieli Foundation.
Eva and her mother were fortunate to procure false papers that allowed them to pose as Swedish citizens and take refuge in a safe house. Although this move got them out of the ghetto, the conditions in the safe house were not much better.
To learn more about Eva’s life and Holocaust experience, click here to visit the Azrieli Foundation’s Re:Collection.
In his memoir, If, By Miracle, Michael Kutz tells the story of how, when he was ten years old, he was nearly buried alive. He narrowly escaped the Nazi death squad that had killed four thousand Jews, including his own family, in his hometown of Nieśwież. Guided by his mother’s last words and determined to survive, he became the youngest member of a partisan resistance group in the dense Belorussian Forest, taking part in daring operations against the Nazis and their collaborators. After the war, Michael embarked on an odyssey through Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy, and finally, Canada, as he tried to find a home where he could leave the horrors of his past behind.
In this oral history interview, Michael describes how, after escaping the grave, he sought help at a convent. The nuns bathed him, fed him and gave him clothes, but it was too dangerous to let him stay. Michael remembered a Catholic friend of his father’s and walked to a nearby village to find him. The family took him in and made their children swear to the Virgin Mary that they would never reveal that Michael was hiding with them.
To learn more about Michael’s life and Holocaust experience, click here to visit the Azrieli Foundation’s Re:Collection.