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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.
Locale
Czechoslovakia
Velyka Dobronʹ (Ukraine)
Mukacheve (Ukraine)
Uz︠h︡horod (Ukraine)
Wałbrzych (Poland)
Budapest (Hungary)
Liberec (Czech Republic)
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.