Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Julia S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-457) interviewed by Bernice Harel

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-457

Videotape testimony of Julia S., who was born in Velyikyy Bychkiv, Czechoslovakia (presently Ukraine) in 1925, one of eleven children. She recounts Hungarian occupation; a brief trip to Budapest; an older brother's draft into a slave labor battalion and an older sister's emigration to Belgium; transfer with her family to the Mátészalka ghetto; deportation four weeks later to Auschwitz; separation from her parents and siblings; finding one sister and a cousin in the barrack; sharing food; visits from her younger brother; selection of her sister and cousin for death; the Blockälteste lighting candles on Rosh ha-Shanah; slave labor digging anti-tank trenches; a death march with three cousins and an aunt to Helmbrechts, Falkenau and Grünberg; helping each other; her aunt being shot; Czechs giving them food; marching again; encountering American POWs; escaping with a friend in Klatovy; posing as non-Jews; liberation by United States troops; assistance from UNRRA; traveling to Prague, Budapest, then Bratislava; reunion with her younger brother, then with her older brother in Sighet and her older sister at home; marriage in Teplice; living in Munich, Heidenheim, and Landsberg displaced persons camps; her son's birth; and emigration to the United States in 1949 to join her husband's relatives. Ms. S. discusses the importance of memories of home and family to her survival; not wanting to be shot; and only the four oldest children surviving from her family.

S., Julia, 1925-
Cleveland, Ohio : National Council of Jewish Women, Holocaust Archive Project, 1984
Interview Date
September 4, 1984.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Julia S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-457). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.