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Celia O. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2699) interviewed by Joni-Sue Blinderman,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2699

Videotape testimony of Celia O., who was born in Dubienka, Poland in 1928. She recalls antisemitic incidents; German invasion in 1939; a German soldier assaulting a Polish child; her mother convincing her father that they should flee; being smuggled with her family to the Soviet zone; living with an uncle for several months; round-up by Soviet soldiers; their two-month train trip to Siberia with 1,500 others; incarceration in a camp in Irkutsk; forced labor, starvation, and cold; her brother's death in 1941; prisoner solidarity; transfer to Kazakhstan (only 750 remained); improved, but harsh conditions; attending school; attending an opera in Alma-Ata when her father won a tailoring contest; traveling to Kraków after the war; fleeing to Berlin after encountering antisemitism; living in a displaced persons camp near Frankfurt; attending German public school; emigration to the United States with her family in 1949; attending medical school in Switzerland; meeting her future husband (a survivor from Kraków); marriage; and working as a pediatrician in New York. Dr. O. discusses not sharing her experiences with her children (she did not want them to have a "persecution mentality"); her emphasis on relationships rather than materialism resulting from her war experience; and continuing close relationships with fellow prisoners.

O., Celia, 1928-
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1993
Interview Date
December 20, 1993.
Soviet Union
Dubienka (Poland)
Irkutsk (Russia)
Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan)
Kraków (Poland)
Berlin (Germany)
Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Bern (Switzerland)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Celia O. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2699). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.