2: Oral history excerpt, Molly Fogarty, “Father’s Childhood in Poland and Exile to Siberia,” 2016.
In this excerpt from her oral history interview, Molly Fogarty discusses her family’s history, including exile to Siberia from Soviet-occupied Poland.
Suggested Activity: You can use this testimony as a starting point to contextualize Mash’s story, supplementing the testimony with additional background information about the gulag under the Bolsheviks (see the Reading and Background section of this kit).
Watch the interview and ask your students to record a list of details they hear in the testimony. Ask them in what ways the details they hear in this testimony are consistent with the details in Mash’s story. Does hearing the testimony change your reading of the story in any way? How did you feel hearing Fogarty’s second-hand account of a long period of her father’s life, versus reading Mash’s first-person (semi)-autobiographical narrative recounting one particular moment in the gulag? What did each experience add to your understanding of this episode in history?
Source: Molly Fogarty, interview by Tatiana Panova, “Father’s Childhood in Poland and Exile to Siberia,” Yiddish Book Center: Wexler Oral History Project, Feb. 12 2016, https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/collections/oral-histories/excerpts/woh-ex-0004958/father-s-childhood-poland-and-exile-siberia.