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Annette E. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3455) interviewed by Hessel Daalder and Elisabeth Inchusta

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3455

Videotape testimony of Annette E., a non-Jew, who was born in Belgium in 1921, the second of six children. She recalls living in Rixensart, Schearbeek, and Brussels; her parents' communist beliefs; housing German and Spanish refugees, including Jews; participating in a socialist group; German invasion; clandestine socialist meetings evolving into a Resistance group; hiding Jews; arrest in June 1942 with her father and one brother; incarceration in St. Gilles, Aix-la-Chapelle, Essen, and Düsseldorf; deportation to Ravensbrück in December; remaining with two Belgian women and their enduring friendship; a family friend obtaining a privileged position for her sorting clothing; sharing what she found with others; transfer to an outside farm for five months in 1943; better rations and access to other food that they clandestinely took; class and ethnic divisions among prisoners; return to the hospital in Ravensbrück when she was ill; remaining there to work; observing forced sterilizations and unnecessary surgeries for the doctors to “practice”; frequent childbirths (the babies soon died); singing Christmas songs with her friends, despite her lack of belief; her mother's arrival in September 1944; working with her in the infirmary; becoming numb to corpses all over and carrying dead babies; liberation by the Red Cross in April 1945; transfer to Denmark and Sweden to recover; returning to Belgium; learning her father and one brother had been killed; working with Jewish orphans; and becoming a teacher. Ms. E. discusses not sharing her experiences for twenty years because she believes no one can understand who had not “been there”; eventually sharing her experiences with others, including with her children and grandchildren; continuing contacts with friends from camp; and belonging to a survivor organization.

Author/Creator
E., Annette, 1921-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1995
Interview Date
January 23, 1995.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Annette E. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3455). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4291753
Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:39:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4291753