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Marie L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1982) interviewed by Jean-Michel Chaumont and Rina Margos

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1982

Videotape testimony of Maria L., who was born in Thessalonikē, Greece in 1931. She recounts her family's move to Brussels in 1932; their assimilated lifestyle; not realizing she was Jewish; German invasion; a futile attempt to escape to France; not registering as Jews; living with her parents in the home of her father's boss; continuing to attend school; their arrest in July 1944; insisting they were Greek, not Jewish; her father being beaten; deportation to Malines, then to Birkenau eight days later; prisoners instructing her to say she was older; separation from the men (she never saw her father again); her mother's hysteria; prisoners calming her; learning of the gassings and crematoria; suffering from hunger, but even more from thirst; assistance from a French political prisoner; her mother's visits when she was hospitalized; leaving the hospital when warned of a selection; Italian prisoners singing opera; transfer to another camp, then Turkheim; a public hanging; outside slave labor; her mother obtaining an indoor job for her; transfer to Kaufering, then back to Turkheim; working in the kitchen; obtaining extra food; a death march; escaping with her mother and a friend; seeking shelter in a monastery; liberation by United States troops; assistance from the Red Cross; repatriation; assistance from the local Jewish committee; and returning to school. Ms. L. discusses relations between nationalities and her state of mind in the camps; slowly losing hope after the war that her father had survived; her husband's assistance with her ever-present trauma; and the burden of her mother's emotional problems resulting from their experiences.

Author/Creator
L., Marie, 1931-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1992
Interview Date
April 8, 1992.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Marie L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1982). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.