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Maria M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2700) interviewed by Naomi Rappaport

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2700

Videotape testimony of Maria M., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1919. She recalls her family's assimilation; attending medical school in Paris and Tours due to Polish quotas against Jews; visiting home in summer 1939; German invasion; her parents retrieving all their assets from the bank (this later saved their lives); ghettoization in 1940; working at the Jewish hospital; starvation, epidemics and deaths; her father working for the Joint; deportations beginning in July 1942; her father encouraging her and her mother to escape (they did not look Jewish); her mother's refusal to leave him; his failed suicide attempt so they would leave; informing them he had arranged for their escape in September; obtaining false papers from the Polish resistance; traveling to Zakopane to join her aunt and cousin who were living as non-Jews; their discovery, arrest, and execution; briefly living in Rytro; returning to Warsaw; her mother obtaining housekeeping jobs, some for non-Jews who knew she was Jewish; tutoring children in French; working for the underground; witnessing the Jewish uprising from outside the ghetto; the Polish uprising; forced relocation from Pruszków to Sokołów Górny; her mother tutoring in one family and she in another village; and liberation by Soviet troops in December.
Ms. M. tells of returning to Warsaw; working for a Jewish agency finding hidden Jewish children; completing medical school in Łódź from 1945 to 1947; assistance from HIAS in emigrating to Buenos Aires via Paris to join two uncles; marriage; her mother's death in 1956; and emigration to the United States in 1965. She discusses her husband's reluctance to hear about her experiences; sharing them with her children; visiting Poland in 1978; and her most painful memories. She shows photographs.

Author/Creator
M., Maria, 1919-
Published
New York, N.Y. : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust-Museum of Jewish Heritage, 1993
Interview Date
October 18, 1993.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Maria M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2700). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.