1. Eugene's Story, Chapter One

    03:51

    from Holocaust Learning / Added

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    Eugene describes his upbringing in Munkacs, Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. He was the son of a master tailor, the youngest of five children in a non-orthodox Jewish family. Eugene was soccer mad and played for the school team. From about 1941 he became very aware of anti-Semitism, especially when his sister's fiance was forcibly taken to a slave labour camp in the Ukraine.

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    • Liesel's Story, Chapter Seven

      01:18

      from Holocaust Learning / Added

      125 Plays / / 0 Comments

      Liesel explains her wish to visit her father's grave in a Jewish cemetery in Hildesheim but describes her fear at returning to Germany alone, and her feeling of being threatened on the one occasion she has been back there. Copyright in this film is held by the Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association.

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      • Leisel's Story, Chapter Six

        02:22

        from Holocaust Learning / Added

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        Leisel explains the impact of the Holocaust on her family. She describes the fate of those family members she knows about. She explains how little she knows about her father, who died when she was 18 months old, and grandparents who she describes as a 'blank spot' in her life. Copyright in this film is held by the Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association.

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        • Leisel's Story, Chapter Four

          03:08

          from Holocaust Learning / Added

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          Leisel describes further visits to the Alfsens with her husband Terry, her close relationship with her former foster-mother Eileen, and her heartbreak when she discovered that Eileen had died. She explains how important it was for her to meet and connect with the Alfsens. Copyright in this film is held by the Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association.

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          • Leisel's Story, Chapter two

            04:42

            from Holocaust Learning / Added

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            Leisel explains how she got back in contact with the Norwegian family who had fostered her as a four-year-old child after a gap of over 40 years. She describes travelling to Oslo to be reunited with the Alfsens, who recognised her straight away. Copyright in this film is held by the Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association.

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            • Leisel's Story, Chapter one

              02:21

              from Holocaust Learning / Added

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              Leisel describes her family origins in Hildesheim, Germany. She explains how she came to travel to England, alone, through Norway at the age of four, because her mother had come to England as a domestic servant and was not allowed to have a child with her. Leisel came on a Nansen passport after war had broken out, late in 1939. Copyright in this film is retained by the Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association.

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              • Val's Story, Chapter Six

                05:49

                from Holocaust Learning / Added

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                Val describes Liberation on 1 May 1945 by the armed forces. Only 2,000 of the original 35,000 Jewish citizens of Kaunas remained alive, and some of them died soon after liberation. Val's liberation euphoria soon turned into a deep depression when he realised the extent of his loss: his entire family had been wiped out. Val's life gained meaning again when he met Ibi, and they married and embarked on a new life in England. Despite having trained as an architect, upon emigration Val was only allowed to work in mining or textiles. He and Ibi spent their working life in the textile industry and made a good life for themselves.

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                • Val's Story, Chapter Seven

                  04:27

                  from Holocaust Learning / Added

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                  Val explains how he began to talk about his Holocaust experiences after years of silence. He and Ibi had two children who began to ask difficult questions, wondering why they had no aunts, uncles and grandparents. So they began explaining their stories in a way appropriate to the children's ages. Later they began talking to students, adult audiences and others, fulfilling their pledge to bear witness to what had happened. Val explains that his family were secular Jews who did not believe in organised religion.

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                  • Val's Story, Chapter Five

                    05:25

                    from Holocaust Learning / Added

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                    Val explains how the situation in Kaunas changed radically in 1944 with the Communists approaching and the German army in retreat. There were 10,000 or 12,000 Jews left alive in the ghetto. There was a shortage of labour in Germany so the remainder of the ghetto population was transported to a satellite camp of Dachau in Bavaria to build underground factories for the production of Messerschmidt fighters. Their identity was taken away and within a fortnight they became walking skeletons, drained of all moral foundation.

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                    • Val's Story, Chapter Three

                      07:10

                      from Holocaust Learning / Added

                      494 Plays / / 0 Comments

                      Val describes the trauma that followed the Nazi invasion of Lithuania. Jews were deprived of every basic human right, deprived of food and forced to wear yellow stars. They were terrified by constant arrests and executions. Within 2 months the Jewish population of Kaunas had been reduced from 35,000 to 30,000. Then they were crowded into a small ghetto surrounded by sentries and barbed wire. There was no food, no fuel and shocking conditions. Val was forced into slave labour, which became an unexpected lifeline as it meant he was able to scrounge potato peel for his family to live on.

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