Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Sophie W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-444) interviewed by Clara Zilberstein and Florabel Kinsler,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-444

Videotape testimony of Sophie W., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1922 to a family of five children. She recalls her older sister emigrating to Paris in 1936; German invasion; another sister fleeing to the Soviet Union in 1940; ghettoization; hiding with her family during round-ups; her younger brother's arrest; her father's disappearance in 1942 (she never saw him again); hiding with her mother and brother in a bunker; arrest with her mother in May 1943; deportation with her mother to Majdanek; separation from her mother upon arrival (she never saw her again); her deep sense of loss and inability to make sense of what was happening; slave labor; deportation to Auschwitz; working in the Canada Kommando until January 1945; the death march to Ravensbrück; and liberation by Soviet troops from Malchow. Mrs. W. describes walking with her friends to Cieszyn; traveling to Warsaw; joining other survivors; meeting her future husband; fleeing to Breslau, having been warned of a pogrom; and reunion with her sister who returned from the Soviet Union. She discusses her reluctance to talk about her experiences; her distrust of people; and endemic Polish antisemitism.

W., Sophie, 1922-
Los Angeles, Calif. : UCLA Documentation Archives, 1983
Interview Date
December 4, 1983.
Warsaw (Poland)
Lublin (Poland)
Cieszyn (Województwo Śląskie, Poland)
Wrocław (Poland)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Sophie W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-444). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.