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Erna R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1381) interviewed by Evelyn Umlas and Ellen Fishman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1381

Videotape testimony of Erna R., who was born in Żywiec, Poland in 1922. She recalls being one of two Jewish families; attending high school in Kraków; anti-Semitic incidents; German invasion; forced labor; ghettoization; hunger, deportations, and mass killings; the demoralizing effect of family separations; liquidation of the ghetto in 1943; her family's transfer to Płaszów; working in the Madritsch factory; truck transport of all children out of Płaszów, including her eleven year old brother (they were all killed); her father's and mother's deportations; frequent hangings and shootings; and transport to Auschwitz in September 1944. Mrs. R. describes the dehumanizing reception procedures; strategies for remaining with her sisters; transfer to Gundelsdorf in January 1945; help from an SS guard; transfer to Zwodau; resisting unwanted homosexual advances; a death march; escaping with help from a local woman; and liberation by American troops, whose chaplain, Rabbi Eugene Lipman, became a friend. She recounts working as an interpreter for the United Nations; marrying a man whose mother she knew in Płaszów; and writing a book about her experience. She reflects on her belief in the importance of prayer and miracles and the sisters staying together, and she reads her poem about survival.

Author/Creator
R., Erna, 1922-
Published
Peabody, Mass. : Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of the North Shore, 1989
Interview Date
September 25, 1989.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Erna R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1381). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/1065445
Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:10:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt1065445