Hélène R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2652) interviewed by Dorit Welt and Hélène Trigano
- Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1993
- Interview Date
- January 8, 1993.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Hélène R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2652). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Hélène R., who was raised in Strasbourg, France. She describes participating in Zionist youth groups; her father's death in 1936; moving to Vichy in 1939 with her mother and brother; her brother's deportation (she received mail from him postmarked Monowitz), then her mother's in November 1943; hiding for seven months; resuming her job; imprisonment in Clermont-Ferrand in June 1944; transfer to Drancy in July; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; forming a group of French girls; selections, beatings, and hunger; transfer to a munitions factory in Kratzau; forcing the assembly line to stop as her form of resistance; liberation by Soviet troops on May 9, 1945; receiving identity documents from the mayor of Chrastave (Kratzau); traveling with her friends to Paris; learning her brother had perished; recuperation; reclaiming her mother's store in Vichy; and marriage to another survivor. Mrs. R. discusses the trauma in Drancy, then in Auschwitz, when she realized that she would never see her mother again; the importance of her group of friends; their relations with others in the camps; fantasizing about a normal future while working in Kratzau; sharing her experience with her children; trips to Poland; and speaking to students about the war years.