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Renata Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3181) interviewed by Barbara Engelking-Boni

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3181

Videotape testimony of Renata Z., who was born in Żywiec, Poland in approximately 1924. She describes her family's affluence; their strong Polish identity and interest in music; cordial relations with non-Jews; living in Bielsko-Biała; German invasion; relocation to Kraków, thinking it safer; ghettoization; forced labor; an informal music group; her parents' deportation in October 1942; her parent's friend caring for her and her sister (she married him after the war); transfer to Płaszów; humiliation and abuse by an SS-man; slave labor; Amon Goeth tearing her earrings out; a Polish civilian worker giving her extra food; sharing it with her sister; declining a Polish woman's offer to hide her, fearing other prisoners and her sister would be killed in retribution; their transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau; losing hope for survival; slave labor in a factory; volunteering for the camp orchestra; the conductor teaching her the double bass; remaining with her sister at night; train transport and a death march to Ravensbrück in January 1945; transfer to Neustadt-Glewe three months later; liberation in May; returning to Poland hoping to find their parents; and her career as a music teacher. Mrs. Z. discusses learning ten years ago that her parents were killed in Belzec; constant fears resulting from her experiences; frequently discussing the Holocaust with her sister and husband; and recent visits to the camps as a guest of the German government.

Z., Renata, 1924?-
Kraków, Poland : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
Interview Date
May 14, 1995.
Żywiec (Poland)
Kraków (Poland)
Bielsko-Biała (Poland)
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Renata Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3181). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.