Operation Barbarossa - Holocaust Survivors Remember
Mordechai (Motke) Zeidel
Born in 1925, in Swenciany, near Vilna (then Poland). From 1941, Mordechai worked as a slave laborer until his escape to the Vilna ghetto. After the ghetto was liquidated, he was caught by the Gestapo and taken to Ponary, where he worked, in shackles, in the pits containing the victims’ corpses. There he also witnessed the mass murder of friends and family from Vilna and surrounding areas. Following a well-organized escape, he joined the partisans, taking part in the liberation of Vilna. Mordechai arrived undetected in Israel in 1945, and fought in the War of Independence. He has 3 children and 6 grandchildren.