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Frances H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2525) interviewed by Pam Goodman and Barbara Stimmel

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2525

Videotape testimony of Frances H., who was born in Opatów, Poland in 1918, the younger of two sisters, three months after her father's death. She recounts living with an aunt in Zawiercie; her mother's remarriage; visiting her and her half-sister in Sosnowiec where they had moved; her aunt's death; German invasion in September 1939; fleeing with her uncle and cousins to Volodymyr-Volynsʹkyĭ; returning to her mother in Sosnowiec, then her relatives in Zawiercie; ghettoization; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau in 1942; separation with her cousin from her uncle and younger cousin (they were killed); encountering her sister (her mother had been killed); her sister's death shortly thereafter; futile efforts to keep her cousin alive; the pervasive odor of burning flesh; hospitalization; a friend saving her from selection; slave labor in the hospital, then the Union Kommando; Mala Zimetbaum's suicide during her public execution; a death march and train transport to Ravensbrück, then Malchow in January 1945; escaping from another death march with a fellow prisoner in Leipzig in April 1945; liberation by United States troops days later; traveling to Brussels with her friend with assistance from the Red Cross; contacting her uncle in the United States; marriage to a survivor from Zawiercie; emigration to the United States in October 1946; her husband waiting for his visa in Paris; visiting him; returning to the U.S.; her daughter's birth; and her husband's arrival in 1949. Ms. H. discusses becoming numb in camp; prisoners helping each other and telling stories; and her gratitude for freedom and her life in the U.S.

Author/Creator
H., Frances, 1918-
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1992
Interview Date
December 13, 1992.
Language
English
Copies
3 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Frances H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2525). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.