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Cecile J. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2526) interviewed by Naomi Rappaport

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2526

Videotape testimony of Cecile J., who was born in Anderlecht , Belgium in 1931, one of three children. She recalls moving to Woluwé-Saint-Pierre; her family's assimilated lifestyle; attending public school; antisemitic insults; vacations in Ostend; German invasion in May 1940; briefly fleeing to Lille; memorizing addresses of relatives in the United States; expulsion from school and wearing the star; round-ups in September 1942; her parents hiding her younger brother in a sanitarium; their arrest in January 1943 when she and her older sister were not home; being hidden by neighbors, then in a hospital; placement on a baron's estate (he was in the underground) in Vonêche, then in a convent in Heverlee; attending school and mass; she and her sister requesting to be baptized; liberation in September 1944; placement with a Jewish family in Brussels; reunion with her brother; placement with her sister in a Jewish orphanage; resuming her Jewish identity; emigration with her siblings to join their relatives in the United States in 1948; and marriage to a French “hidden child” in 1955. Ms. J. discusses using humor to cope with privation in the convent; learning her parents and most of her relatives had been killed in Auschwitz; attending the Hidden Child Conference and an orphanage reunion in 1983; participating in a local Hidden Child group; and visiting Belgium with her children. She shows photographs and documents.

Author/Creator
J., Cecile, 1931-
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1993
Interview Date
January 21, 1993.
Language
English
Copies
3 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Cecile J. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2526). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.