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Helen R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2236) interviewed by Joni-Sue Blinderman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2236

Videotape testimony of Helen R., who was born in Kraków, Poland in 1925. She recalls an idyllic childhood; family religious observances; German invasion; ghettoization in 1941; her father's deportation; gradual liquidation of the ghetto; hiding her mother with a Polish friend; forced labor; escaping to Płaszów to avoid deportation; working as a housekeeper for the camp Kommandant, Amon Goeth; frequent humiliation and beatings by Goeth; observing his arbitrary, sadistic treatment of prisoners; being comforted by Oskar Schindler and the other housekeeper; visiting her mother and sisters in Płaszów; her continuing belief in God; saving other prisoners from Goeth's murderous rages; removing her sisters from a deportation; providing information and passes to the camp resistance; Goeth's arrest; learning her mother had perished; transfer, with her sisters and cousins, as "Schindler's Jews"; arrival at Auschwitz in fall 1944; retaining a picture of her parents; transfer to Schindler's factory in Brünnlitz; liberation; returning to Kraków; testifying at Goeth's trial; moving to a displaced persons camp in Parsch, Austria; marriage; emigration to the United States; and recurring nightmares. Mrs. R. notes her constant terror while working for Goeth; gratitude to Schindler despite his Nazi ties; and assisting other "Schindler's Jews" to support him the rest of his life.

Author/Creator
R., Helen, 1925-
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1992
Interview Date
November 24, 1992.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Helen R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2236). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.