Helena M. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3170) interviewed by Barbara Engelking-Boni
- Warsaw, Poland : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1994
- Interview Date
- July 13, 1994.
- 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.
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.