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Renée E. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3212) interviewed by Claudine Drame and Henri Borlant

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3212

Videotape testimony of Renée E., who was born in 1926 in Paris, France. She recounts that her parents were Turkish immigrants; a large and close extended family; German invasion; fleeing with her family to Nogent-le-Roi; returning to Paris upon encountering German troops; her father going into hiding; his deportation in 1942 (she never saw him again); living in Montreuil; her brother's birth; her mother placing the baby and her younger sister in hiding with assistance from their Catholic aunt; her sister's return; arrest with her sister, mother, and grandmother in June 1944 (cousins who were with them were released); incarceration in Drancy; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau a week later; separation from her grandmother (she never saw her again); remaining with her mother and sister; slave labor pushing carts; encountering her aunt and cousin; punishment for refusing to help burn corpses; injuring her foot; her mother and sister caring for her; her aunt, knowing she was to be killed, giving Renée E. her warmer dress and taking Renée E.'s dress with no sleeves; hospitalization; a Russian nurse saving her from selections and giving her extra food; transfer to Flossenbürg (she never saw her mother again); slave labor in an airplane factory; transfer to Theresienstadt; liberation in May 1945; recuperating in Lyon; and reunion with her sister and brother in Paris. Ms. E. discusses French, Greek and other prisoners' handicap if they did not speak German or Yiddish; empathy for parents separated from their children in camps; total humiliation; crediting her mother with her survival; continuing painful memories, particularly of her mother's death; and a recent visit to Auschwitz.

Author/Creator
E., Renée, 1926-
Published
Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1995
Interview Date
January 24, 1995.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Renée E. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3212). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.