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Krystyna B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3168) interviewed by Barbara Engelking-Boni

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3168

Videotape testimony of Krystyna B., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1932, the youngest of eight children. Ms. B. recounts her parents' orthodoxy; vacations in Otwock; German invasion; ghettoization; hiding during round-ups; her brothers financially supporting them by building hiding places for others; one brother surrendering himself and family because his young children might expose others in hiding; her brother Rafael's marriage in 1941; deportation with his wife; his escape and return; his construction and provisioning a bunker connected to the sewer system; retreating to the bunker on April 19, 1943; three brothers fighting briefly in the ghetto uprising; marriage of one brother in the bunker; retreating to the sewers when fires were set above them; listening to a radio; establishing outside contacts when they had no more food; assistance from a Pole; Rafael's departure when he became ill; discovery of the bunker; her youngest brother leading them through the sewers; two brothers being killed; rescue from the sewers with her sister-in-law and youngest brother (her sister remained with her parents and they died); joining Rafael in hiding; her youngest brother's death from infection; Yitzhak (Antek) Zuckerman bringing Rafael a gun; Rafael's departure (she never saw him again); assistance from the underground hiding with non-Jewish Poles; receiving false papers; the 1944 Warsaw Uprising; evacuation to Pruszków; placement in a Catholic orphanage where other Jewish children were hidden; the orphanage moving to Grodzisk Mazowiecki; and liberation by Soviet troops. Ms. B. discusses her converion to Catholicism; her strong sense of Jewish and Polish identities; nightmares that diminished with time; wondering why she was the sole survivor of her family; continuing contact with her sister-in-law and some of her rescuers; visits to Israel; and leadership in a child survivors organization.

Author/Creator
B., Krystyna, 1932-
Published
Warsaw, Poland : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1994
Interview Date
July 13, 1994.
Language
Polish
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Krystyna B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3168). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.