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Fanny S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2162) interviewed by Colette Zumstein and Annette Wieviorka

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2162

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.

Author/Creator
S., Fanny, 1925-
Published
Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1991
Interview Date
December 21, 1991.
Language
French
Copies
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.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4286578
Record last modified: 2014-04-01 09:17:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4286578