Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Bertha L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-517) interviewed by Leatrice Rabinsky

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-517

Videotape testimony of Bertha L., who was born in Czechoslovakia, one of seven children. She recounts her family's hasidism; cordial relations with non-Jews; living in Vyšná Pisaná; attending schools in Nižná Pisaná and Svidník; anti-Jewish restrictions; expulsion from school; briefly moving to Kapišová, then back to Vyšná Pisaná; orders to report for forced labor in Stropkov; parting from her mother there; transfer to Poprad; deportation to Auschwitz in 1942; slave labor; transfer to Birkenau in August; receiving extra food for work loading corpses onto trucks; a friend convincing her not to commit suicide; briefly seeing her brother (he did not survive); sorting prisoners' luggage; finding her sister-in-law's suitcases; learning two sisters had been killed in Birkenau and her parents in Majdanek; transfer to Bergen-Belsen in October 1944; liberation by British troops in April 1945; reunion with a sister in a displaced persons camp; their journey to Prague, then Bratislava; learning one brother had survived as a partisan; assistance from the Joint; living with their brother in Banská Bystrica; moving to Košice; marriage to a survivor in 1947; her siblings' emigration to Israel; her daughter's birth; and joining her husband's relatives in the United States in 1949. Ms. L. discusses bringing her sister to the U.S.; not discussing her experiences with her children; recently lecturing students about her experiences; and traveling to concentration camps on organized student trips with two of her children. She shows photographs.

L., Bertha.
Cleveland, Ohio : National Council of Jewish Women, Holocaust Archive Project, 1985
Interview Date
January 23, 1985.
4 copies: 3/4 in. dub; Betacam SP Restoration master; Betacam SP Restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Bertha L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-517). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.