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Gisele W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2627) interviewed by Maryanne Kador and Alizah Brozgold

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2627

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.

Author/Creator
W., Gisele, 1934-
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1993
Interview Date
May 19, 1993.
Language
English
Copies
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.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4288445
Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:37:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4288445