Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Henrika M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2632) interviewed by Bonnie Dwork and Kathy Strochlic,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2632

Videotape testimony of Henrika M., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1920, one of three children. She recalls pervasive antisemitic harassment; attending a Jewish high school; German invasion in September 1939; her father's death from a beating by a German soldier; ghettoization; factory work; her brother's position in the Jewish police which allowed him to help others; deportation of her mother and sister (she never saw them again); being rounded-up and twice escaping from the Umschlagplatz; deportation to Majdanek; assisting a wounded friend en route; slave labor in the tailor workshop; public hanging of a friend's husband; a mass killing by shooting on November 3, 1943; being selected to sort the possessions of the murdered; jumping from a train transport in April 1944; Polish partisans refusing to help her because she was Jewish; hiding with non-Jews; liberation by Soviet troops in August 1944; living in Lublin, then Łódź; fleeing with friends to Germany following antisemitic violence; living in Landsberg and two other displaced persons camps; meeting her husband in Munich; marriage; emigration to the United States in September 1949; the births of three children; and testifying at war crime trials in Germany. Ms. M. notes her brother's death in the ghetto uprising; owing her survival to many "miracles"; and therapy to cope with pervasive painful memories. She shows photographs and documents and recites lyrics from a song she wrote in hiding.

M., Henrika, 1920-
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1993
Interview Date
May 24, 1993.
Warsaw (Poland)
Lublin (Poland)
Łódź (Poland)
Munich (Germany)
3 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP restoration master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Henrika M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2632). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.