Fanny S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2162) interviewed by Colette Zumstein and Annette Wieviorka
- Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1991
- Interview Date
- December 21, 1991.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Fanny S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2162). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Fanny S., who was born in Paris, France in 1925, one of six children. She describes attending public school; cordial relations with non-Jews; taking care of her two younger siblings; evacuation with her family to Maine-et-Loire and Louroux-Béconnais when the war began; their return to Paris after German occupation in 1940; expulsion from school due to anti-Jewish laws; her youngest brother and sister being hidden by a non-Jew they had met in Louroux-Béconnais; arrest of her mother and two siblings in the Vélodrome d'hiver round-up; neighbors suggesting they hide; her father refusing, wanting to join his wife and younger children; the arresting officer allowing her and her brother to leave; returning home; a friend in the Resistance giving her ration cards; deportation with her brother in May 1943 to Drancy, then to Auschwitz/Birkenau in June; remaining with several friends; learning of the crematoria and that her family had been killed there; assistance from French Resistants; reciting poems and recipes to boost their morale; slave labor constructing roads; transfer with friends to the Canada Kommando in July, then to the Union Kommando in January 1944; receiving extra soup for working the night shift; hearing war news from civilian workers and from Mala Zimetbaum; Zimetbaum's public execution after her escape; a prisoner doctor operating on her which saved her life; public hanging of four women who had stolen gun powder from the Union Kommando which men used to sabotage a crematorium; the death march in January 1945; helping friends who could not walk; transport to Ravensbrück, then Neustadt-Glewe; assistance from French POWs; liberation by Soviet troops; repatriation to Hotel Lutetia in May; her determination to find her sister and brother; assistance from former neighbors; reunion with an uncle in Angers, then with her siblings; staying with the woman who had hidden them, then in a children's home; taking courses; and marriage. Ms. S. discusses many years of nightmares resulting from her experiences; attributing her survival to assistance from friends, privileged assignments, and her desire to see her siblings; solidarity of the French women in camp; and gradually reacquiring her sense of Jewish identity.