THE YIDDISH BOOK CENTER'S
Wexler Oral History Project

A growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds, whose stories about the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity.

We Went Right When Everyone Went Left: Benjamin Harshav and Family Escape Death During WWII

Watch now:

  • Benjamin (Binyomen) Harshav, z"l - professor emeritus at Yale University - recounts a part of his family's escape from Vilna during the Holocaust. As they traveled to Minsk, they managed to escape a dive-bomb attack by German airplanes.

This is an excerpt from an oral history with Benjamin (Binyomen) Harshav.

This excerpt is in Yiddish.

Benjamin (Binyomen) Harshav was born in 1928 in Vilna, Lithuania. Benjamin (Binyomen), z"l, died in 2015.

This interview is part of the Yiddish in the Academy: scholars, language instructors, and students series.

More information about this oral history excerpt

Themes in this oral history excerpt:

  • Benjamin Harshav
  • Train
  • Stuper plane
  • dive-bomb
  • Holocaust
  • World War Two
  • Eastern Europe
  • Soviet Union

About the Wexler Oral History Project

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Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 500 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture.

Tell Us Your Story

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Do you (or someone you know) have stories to share about the importance of Yiddish language and culture in your life?