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YOSEF PAPILSKI

My name is Yosef Papilski, and I was born in Lithuania on January 8, 1931.

I began my studies at the Jewish school in 1937, and stopped in 1941.

The war broke out on June 22, 1941. After a short time the Germans concentrated the Jews in the ghetto, where I lived with my parents. Because there was serious hunger, I was forced to join my parents at work in the bakery.

There were many roundups in the ghetto. Thus three very difficult years passed.

When the Germans sensed that the Red Army was approaching, they decided to liquidate the ghetto. The Jews were sent to the camps.

In the summer of 1944 I was sent to Germany, where I became one of the group of 131.

I was a witness to the well-oiled German death machine in Birkenau. I came down with a serious illness and was sent to the hospital. I was saved by a miracle. After being released from the hospital I didn't return to the group of 131 but continued on my own.

From Birkenau I was sent back to Germany, where I worked in coal mines in a labor camp. From there I was sent to Dora camp, which was located inside a mountain. People died around me like flies.

I was liberated by the British in Bergen-Belsen, on April 15, 1945.

After the war I returned to Vilna, in Lithuania. There I completed my high school education and afterwards studied chemistry at the university. I worked as a chemist.

I married in 1953. I have two sons and four grandchildren. My oldest son lives in Israel with his family, and the other one lives in the United States.

I immigrated to Israel in 1990.

Today I live in Lod and work as an engineer in the Altech company.

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