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Helen S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-522) interviewed by Judie Wayman

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-522

Videotape testimony of Helen S., who was born in approximately 1918 in a small town near Uz︠h︡horod. She recounts her mother's widowhood from her first marriage, from which she had two sons; her mother's marriage to her father; his death when she was ten months old; her mother's third marriage; living in Velikaya Dobronʹ; difficult relations with her stepfather; placement in a Joint orphanage in Mukacheve when she was fourteen; returning home; Hungarian occupation; German occupation; deportation orders during Passover; a brief trip with her mother to Uz︠h︡horod, seeking an exemption but not receiving one; her mother entrusting photographs to a non-Jewish neighbor; round-up to a brick factory; deportation to Auschwitz; her mother's selection for death; remaining with three friends from her town; meaningless slave labor; finding a cousin who gave her extra food; transfer to Altenburg; slave labor in a munitions factory; sharing food with her friends; sabotaging her work; a death march to Wałbrzychh; liberation by United States troops; traveling to Budapest; reunion with a half-brother; returning home; assistance from the neighbor who had kept her mother's belongings; traveling illegally to Liberec; marriage to a survivor from her town in 1946; her son's birth; and emigration to the United States in 1948. Ms. S. discusses nightmares and health problems resulting from her experiences; seldom talking about her experiences, even with her children; stating she “can never be happy” since “something was killed" in her; and attributing her survival to the hope of reuniting with someone in her family. She shows photographs.

Author/Creator
S., Helen, 1918?-
Published
Cleveland, Ohio : National Council of Jewish Women, Holocaust Archive Project, 1985
Interview Date
January 17, 1985.
Language
English
Copies
4 copies: 3/4 in. master; Betacam SP restoration master; Betacam SP restoration submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Helen S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-522). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.