Oral History Interview with Bernard S. Mednicki

Bernard Mednicki, born in 1910 in Brussels, Belgium, describes being the youngest of four children in an Orthodox Russian Jewish family from Kishinev (Chisinau, Moldova); his father serving in the Russian Army until the 1903 pogrom, when he deserted and moved his family to the west; attending a cheder and public school in Brussels, where he experienced some antisemitism; being apprenticed to an orthopedic technician; becoming a Belgian citizen in 1928 and being married in 1931; how in 1933 he became active in the anti-fascist Socialist Party and anti-fascist resistance; the German invasion on May 12, 1940; fleeing with his wife and children to Paris, France, assuming Christian identities; traveling through southern France and reuniting with his family in Riom; the travails of fellow refugees; his work with the French resistance during 1941-1942 in Clermont-Ferrand, France; his sabotage activities with the Maquis in the mountains near Volvic, France; smuggling goods and other survival techniques to obtain food for resistance families; traveling with his wife and children to Paris, aided by American soldiers; returning to Brussels in 1946; finding his sister’s three children, who were hidden during the war in a convent and a monastery; arriving in the United States with his wife and children in 1947; and his memoir (Never be afraid: A Jew in the Maquis, published posthumously in 1997).

Date: 04/27/1982
Interviewer: Josey G. Fisher
Interviewee: Bernard S. Mednicki
Language: English
Subject: Anti-fascist movements--Belgium.
Antisemitism in education--Belgium.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Belgium--Personal narratives.
Jewish refugees--France.
Jews, Moldovan--Belgium.
Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.--Belgium.
Kishinev Massacre, Chisinau, Moldova, 1903.
World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--France.
World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Personal narratives.
Men--Personal narratives.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Paris, France
Volvic, France
Clermont-Ferrand, France
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