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Henry B., Sophie B., and Millie K., Holocaust testimony (HVT-330) interviewed by Zev Harel,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-330

Videotape testimony of Henry and Sophie B. and their daughter Millie K.. Mr. B. was born in Łódź, Poland in 1910. He recalls his mixed neighborhood; cordial relations with non-Jews; marriage in 1937; Millie's birth in 1938; German invasion in September 1939; fleeing with his brother to Soviet-occupied Vilnius, then Šiauliai; German invasion in 1941; exemption from ghettoization due to his job; receiving Ukrainian papers and a travel permit for him and his brother from his wife; reunion with his wife and daughter in Bochnia; moving to Kraków; obtaining a privileged position in communications; observing daily transports of Jews to Auschwitz; hiding his brother; attending church; passing himself off as an "Aryan" and receiving papers; realizing a fellow-worker was a Jew, but not revealing it until after the war; liberation in January 1945; leaving for Germany in 1946; returning for his wife and daughter; their escape with assistance from Beriḥah; living in Stuttgart; revealing to Millie that she was Jewish; emigration to the United States in 1948; establishing a successful business; and a trip to Poland with his wife, daughter, and her children. He discusses identity issues and his commitment to Jewish organizations and general education.
Sophie B., recounts her family-centered childhood; her sister's marriage to a non-Jew; her own marriage in 1937; a difficult pregnancy; her husband's departure east in November 1939; a relative of her brother-in-law assisting her to escape to Warsaw with Millie; living as a non-Jew; bringing her parents food in the Łódź ghetto in May 1940 (she never saw them again); obtaining a birth certificate from a priest (he did not know she was Jewish); smuggling food into the Warsaw ghetto; joining her sister and her family in Bochnia where they had established themselves as Christians; moving to Kraków to work in the post office; traveling to Simeïz to obtain Christian papers and a travel permit for her husband and brother-in-law; sending the papers to them; her husband's return in February 1942; their relative affluence; retrieving her sister's child with help from a non-Jew; having Millie baptized; liberation; her sister's return from Auschwitz to retrieve her daughter; fleeing to Germany with Millie and her husband; living in Stuttgart; enrollment in an ORT school; and assistance from HIAS emigrating to the United States.
Millie K. recounts thinking that during the war air raids were fun; devastation and confusion at learning she was Jewish; trying to hide her Jewish identity since she thought Jews were universally hated; difficulties adjusting in the United States; continuing to tell others she was once Catholic; increasing comfort as she learned English; and developing flexibility, optimism, and a sense of humor from her experiences.

Author/Creator
B., Henry, 1910-
Published
Cleveland, Ohio : National Council of Jewish Women, Holocaust Archive Project, 1984
Interview Date
July 19, 1984.
Locale
Poland
Warsaw
Łódź
Łódź (Poland)
Kraków (Poland)
Vilnius (Lithuania)
Šiauliai (Lithuania)
Warsaw (Poland)
Bochnia (Poland)
Simeïz (Ukraine)
Stuttgart (Germany)
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Henry B., Sophie B., and Millie K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-330). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
 
View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4281874
Record last modified: 2018-05-30 11:44:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4281874