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Chawka R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1821) interviewed by Nili Keren and Tamar Shushan

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1821

Videotape testimony of Chawka R., who was born in approximately 1925. She recalls living in Warsaw in a secular, Zionist home; bombings during the German invasion; ghettoization; organizing a Deror school; joining the underground; circulating clandestine papers; an aunt leaving her baby outside of the ghetto; nuns sheltering the baby, who survived; living in a Zionist commune; her father's displeasure that she did not stay with the family; leaving the ghetto as an underground courier using false papers; bringing food back for her family; smuggling papers and weapons; observing a mass killing of Jews while outside the ghetto; hearing non-Jews on trains discussing Jews being burned alive; declining to be hidden outside the ghetto due to her loyalty to her group; being sent to observe what was occurring at Treblinka; traveling with Yitzhak Zuckerman to Kraków for a meeting of the underground; being warned of a round-up by Marek Edelman; being caught and beaten by Germans; identifying herself as a Polish communist; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau as a non-Jew; members of the Polish underground helping each other; improved conditions in Harmęże; a death march to Ravensbrück; liberation; transfer to Malmö, Sweden, via Denmark, then to Lund; returning to Poland with Yitzhak Zuckerman; learning her brothers and father had been killed; the painful realization that despite her survival, almost every one else had been killed; her mother's emigration to Israel; and joining her and other relatives 1947. Ms. R. attributes her thirty-month survival in Auschwitz/Birkenau to her sense of purpose and friendships with other prisoners.

Author/Creator
R., Chawka, 1925?-
Published
Ramat Aviv, Israel : Beth Hatefutsoth, Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, 1986
Interview Date
June 30, 1986 and September 12, 1986.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
4 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Chawka R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1821). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.