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Yad Vashem "To Live with Honor and to Die with Honor"
Jews Who Saved Jews - Stories

Belarus

Escape from the Mir Ghetto

The town of Mir was occupied by the Germans in June 1941. In an Aktion carried out on November 9, about 1,500 of the town’s Jews were murdered. The remaining 850 were transferred to a ghetto located in a castle at the town’s outskirts. A young Jew named Oswald Rufeisen arrived in Mir under a false identity. Because he spoke German fluently, the local police hired him as a translator. Oswald identified some friends from the youth movement in Vilna and secretly made contact with them. Oswald transferred to them weapons and information about the date for the ghetto’s liquidation. In coordination with Oswald, they planned an escape to the forest for when the Germans would be absent. On the night of August 9, 1942, about 300 Jews fled the Mir ghetto for the nearby forest.