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Joil (Saul) Alpern transcript

 Collection — Container: Single Folder Collections - 2009 Box 1 (09.0002-09.0044), Folder: 09.0037 - Folder 1
Identifier: 09.0037

Scope and Contents

Saul Alpern’s oral history transcript describes in detail his experiences growing up in Romania before World War II, the beginning of the war, listening to Adolf Hitler on the radio, life in labor camps, forced marches, hiding during the war, anti-Semitism, liberation, Zionist youth organizations, and his memoir.


  • Created: 1940-2009
  • Other: Date acquired: 02/27/2009


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Joil (Saul) Alpern was born in Bukovina, Romania in 1930, one of four children to Isaac and Rosa Alpern. Saul and his family hid in the forests in mid-1941 after Bukovina was captured by the Axis powers. They were then sent to Czernowitz in Bessarabia, Transnistria, and Stepanki in the Ukraine. Saul returned to his hometown in 1944 and became a mine picker for the Russians until liberation.

Saul and his younger brother Avrum were the only survivors from his family. Saul wanted to reach Palestine and in 1946 traveled across Europe to Italy. There he joined Betar the Zionist youth organization in hopes of fighting against the British immigration laws. His brother Avrum was killed in 1948 fighting in the Israeli military. Unable to obtain funds, Saul settled temporarily in Winnipeg, Canada in 1948. He began a career in the cattle industry and met his future wife Ida Reiss in 1963. In 2001, he published his memoir No One Awaiting Me which described his childhood experiences during the war.


1 folders

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

Source of Acquisition


Method of Acquisition

Oral history conducted by Erica Silbiger in Miami, Florida.

Joil (Saul) Alpern transcript
Julianna Witt
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US