Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Gertrud W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-682) interviewed by Kathy Strochlic and Lilian Sicular,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-682

Videotape testimony of Gertrud W., who was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1915. She describes her pleasant childhood and positive feelings about being Czech; social work school; a job in Brno; German occupation of Sudetenland; conversion to Catholicism with her future husband; return to Prague; deciding to emigrate with her future husband; receiving her father's permission (the only time she saw him cry); smuggling themselves into Poland in May 1939; living under British protection in Kraków; and marriage by a Catholic priest. Mrs. W. describes the outbreak of war; walking to Brest-Litovsk, then Białystok; travel to Vilna (Lithuania had relations with Britain); witnessing a pogrom; obtaining documents; emigration to Britain; work as a nurse; receiving news of her family through American sources until 1942; return to Czechoslovakia with a Czech Red Cross medical team in 1945; her certainty that she would find her family; learning about concentration and extermination camps which shattered her belief; work with survivors in Terezín; return to Prague; and efforts to find her sister and family, which she never did.

Mrs. W. describes a trip to England and divorce in 1947; life in Prague; emigration to Venezuela in 1948; help from the Joint; marriage and her daughter's birth; emigration to the United States; raising her daughter as a Unitarian; her daughter's marriage to an observant Jew; positive feelings about returning to Judaism; satisfaction as a social worker; her husband's death; and reluctance to tell her daughter of her experiences.

W., Gertrud, 1915-2014.
New York, N.Y. : Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, 1986
Interview Date
April 6, 1986.
Prague (Czech Republic)
Brno (Czech Republic)
Kraków (Poland)
Brest (Belarus)
Białystok (Poland)
Vilnius (Lithuania)
Caracas (Venezuela)
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Gertrud W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-682). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.