Ruth E. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3195)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
- Interview Date
- September 4, 1991.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Ruth E. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3195). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Ruth E., who was born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia in 1922, one of two sisters. She recalls her parents' divorce; living with her paternal grandmother, then an uncle and aunt; their affluence; attending Jewish school, a German high school, then boarding school in Opava; participating in Maccabi; German occupation; anti-Jewish restrictions; she and her sister hiding with relatives; joining their father in Brno, then a nearby village; living with a farmer, using false papers (she later learned they knew they were Jews); deportation to Theresienstadt in April 1942; marriage to someone who was not on a deportation list, thus separating herself from her father and sister who were on a list (she never saw them again); caring for the elderly, including collecting corpses; transfer to a privileged kitchen job; sharing extra food with her husband and others; participating in an opera group; realizing she was pregnant; deportation with her husband and his mother to Birkenau; placement in the Theresienstadt “family camp”; useless slave labor; Fredy Hirsch caring for the children; avoiding a selection for death; transfer to Hamburg; slave labor in a refinery and clearing bombing rubble; transfer with another pregnant woman to Ravensbrück, then to Auschwitz a day later; hospitalization; the birth of a daughter; Mengele ordering her breasts tied so she could not nurse; a Czech prisoner-doctor helping her kill the baby; losing her will to live; transfer to Taucha; a privileged assignment in a bakery; smuggling bread to share with others; the Kommandant ordering her to stage a show after he heard her sing; producing a cabaret with other prisoners, including Romanies; abandonment by the guards; leaving with other Czechs; encountering United States troops who cared for them in Ponitz; traveling to Prague, Brno, and Ostrava; reunion with her husband; their separation; marriage in Prague; and emigration to Israel in 1949. Ms. E. notes never discussing her experiences with her children; disparagement as a survivor in Israel; sharing her story on a television show (her sons heard it); and her book about music in Theresienstadt.