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Ruth E. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3195)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3195

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.

E., Ruth , 1922-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
Interview Date
September 4, 1991.
Ostrava (Czech Republic)
Opava (Czech Republic)
Ponitz (Germany)
Brno (Czech Republic)
Prague (Czech Republic)
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.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-30 11:34:00
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