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Helena M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3170) interviewed by Barbara Engelking-Boni

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3170

Videotape testimony of Helena M., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1911, the fifth of six children. Ms. M. recalls her large extended and assimilated family's affluence; her father and one brother dying; one sister's emigration to the United States; studying psychology; working in a children's clinic with Adolf Berman; German invasion; ghettoization; working for CENTOS, an agency for orphans, which received funding from the Joint; contacts with Adam Czerniaków; working with Janusz Korczak, Stefania Wilczyńska, and other staff at Korczak's orphanage; deportations beginning in June 1942; observing Korczak accompanying his orphans for deportation; forced labor in a brush factory; providing information to Emanuel Ringelblum for the ghetto archives; meeting Mordecai Anielewicz; escaping with her mother, sister, brother, and his family in March 1943; working for the underground; living under false papers; meetings with Adolf Berman and others in the underground; avoiding exposure with assistance from Joseph Ziemian; assisting other Jews in hiding; moving to Piastów; traveling to Grodzisko as a courier to Yitzhak Zuckerman and Marek Edelman; her mother's death during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising; traveling to Zalesie to join her sister; and providing assistance to hidden Jews in Piastów. Ms. M. provides many details of life in the ghetto and hiding. She discusses Korczak's work and charisma; the loss of most of her family; wanting to survive to "spit on a German," which she did not do when she could have; attributing her survival to luck and having blue eyes; creating an archive in Warsaw for Jewish survivors; and working in children's radio programming.

Author/Creator
M., Helena, 1911-
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
Helena M. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3170). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4290906
Record last modified: 2014-01-14 15:35:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4290906