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Helen D. Holocaust testimony (HVT-519) interviewed by Sidney Elsner

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-519

Videotape testimony of Helen D., who was born in a town near Khust, Czechoslovakia in 1920. She recounts attending public school; Hungarian occupation; anti-Jewish restrictions; ghettoization; transfer to Melʹnytsya-Podilʹsʹka; forced labor cleaning streets; working as a dressmaker; deportation of her mother and five sisters to Auschwitz (none returned); remaining with her father, brother, and another sister; transfer to Borșa; capture of her brother and father (she never saw them again); escaping with her sister from the ghetto in September 1943; hiding in a forest, then briefly with a Polish woman; building two bunkers to house twenty-five Jews each; sharing food; one bunker's discovery, and the other's collapse in 1944, causing many deaths, including her sister; hiding in a barn; liberation by Soviet troops; escaping to Chernivt︠s︡i to avoid conscription for forced labor; traveling to Prague in May 1945; serving as a nurse in the Czech army; moving to Teplice in October; opening a dressmaking shop; contacting an uncle in New York via the Red Cross; marriage to a survivor in May 1946; receiving an affidavit from her uncle; traveling illegally to Germany; living in a displaced persons camp near Vienna; and emigration to Montréal, then to the United States in October 1953.

Author/Creator
D., Helen, 1920-
Published
Cleveland, Ohio : National Council of Jewish Women, Holocaust Archive Project, 1984
Interview Date
January 15, 1984.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Helen D. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-519). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.