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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.
Locale
Poland
Warsaw
Warsaw (Poland)
Paris (France)
Tours (France)
Zakopane (Poland)
Rytro (Poland)
Pruszków (Województwo Mazowieckie, Poland)
Sokołów Górny (Poland)
Łódź (Poland)
Buenos Aires (Argentina)
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.