Gisele W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2627) interviewed by Maryanne Kador and Alizah Brozgold
- New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1993
- Interview Date
- May 19, 1993.
- 3 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Gisele W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2627). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Gisele W., who was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1934, the youngest of three children. She recalls her family's orthodoxy; her brother and sister caring for her while her parents worked; avoiding deportation to Poland in 1938 (her parents were born there) with assistance from a non-Jewish friend; going to her grandmother's home on Kristallnacht (she later perished in Theresienstadt); her father's arrest when escaping to Belgium in January 1939; her mother joining him when he was ill; placement in a orphanage; learning her father had died; being smuggled to Antwerp with her siblings; reunion with her mother; attending school; German invasion in May 1940; placement on a deportation train to Germany in 1941; being offloaded with her family in Bilzen; attending Catholic school and wanting to convert; moving to Brussels; deportation of her brother and sister (she never saw them again); a Catholic neighbor helping her mother hide her; placement in an orphanage under a new name; correspondence with her neighbor (her mother had been deported); being moved by the underground to another orphanage in Sugny; liberation by United States troops; placement in an orphanage near Brussels; reunion with her mother; emigration to join an aunt in the United States in December 1947; her mother joining her in 1950; marriage; and the births of two children. Ms. W. discusses losing her family and sense of identity; missing her education; pervasive, painful memories; not sharing her experiences except with a friend from the orphanage; recently discussing them with her daughter; her mother's death at age sixty-nine, a “broken woman,” due to the loss of her children; visiting Germany and Belgium in 1979; and attending survivor gatherings.