Max Mermelstein's Testimony in the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale

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The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at the Yale University Library has as its aim “to record, collect, and preserve Holocaust witness testimonies, and to make its collection available to researchers, educators, and the general public.” In 1984, Skala survivor Max Mermelstein was interviewed, so that his recollection of his Holocaust experiences might be preserved.

The library catalogue's summary of his one hour and thirty-five minute testimony is as follows: “Videotape testimony of Max M., who was born in Skala-Podol'skaya [sic], in southeastern Poland, in 1926. He tells of a congenital hip problem which resulted in frequent hospitalization and surgery; the Russian occupation from 1939-1941; being caught near L'vov when the Germans invaded; and the difficulty of getting home to Skala with his mother. He describes the death of his brother in a POW camp, from which the Poles and Ukrainians had been released and only the Jews exterminated. He relates the formation of a ghetto; the Judenrat; deportation to Borshchov; hiding in bunkers during several round-ups; the death of his mother; a mass killing in which his father was killed; and his escape into the woods with a cousin, where he hid for fourteen months with other Jews from the area. Mr. M. discusses liberation by Russian troops; continuing hardship; living with no hope; and his eventual emigration to the United States. He describes the present as another and happy chapter in his life.”

The call number for the Mermelstein tape is HVT-309. For a full listing of Yale's partner sites, see

The photo above was taken in Skala in 2010 by David Belgray. It shows Max's reunion with a women related to the family that helped save him during the Holocaust.

Also see: "Surviving in the Forest" by Max Mermelstein (Weidenfeld)

This page created by Max Heffler
Updated Sep 19, 2018. © Copyright 2005 Skala Research Group. All Rights Reserved.