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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.

Author/Creator
W., Gertrud, 1915-2014.
Published
New York, N.Y. : Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, 1986
Interview Date
April 6, 1986.
Locale
Czechoslovakia
Prague (Czech Republic)
Brno (Czech Republic)
Kraków (Poland)
Brest (Belarus)
Białystok (Poland)
Vilnius (Lithuania)
England
Caracas (Venezuela)
Language
English
Copies
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.