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Greta Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-714) interviewed by Dori Laub and Heidi Hample

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-714

Videotape testimony of Greta Z., who was born in Bielefeld, Germany in 1927. She recounts her family's long history in Germany; her father's World War I service; attending Catholic school; the burning of their synagogue on Kristallnacht; expulsion from school the next day; attending a Jewish school; being shunned by former friends; assistance from her former teachers; her father's four week incarceration; she and her brother refusing to go on a children's transport, not wanting to leave their parents; a deportation notice in November 1941; her father refusing offers from non-Jewish friends to get them out due to his faith in the German government; train deportation to the Rīga ghetto; realizing the German intent to kill them; briefly attending school; forced labor; smuggling food to her family; her father's death in August 1943; planting a garden; her wonderful relationship with Polish Jews; transfer to Stutthof in 1944; separation from her brother (he did not survive); escaping a selection to be with her mother; their transfer to Sophienwalde in September; slave labor doing construction; transfer to another camp in February; a death march a month later; liberation by Soviet troops; walking to Löhnberg; a seder organized by a Soviet-Jewish soldier; their hospitalization until spring; traveling to Stettin, Berlin, Hannover, then Beilefeld; the mayor's wonderful treatment; contacting her former teacher; and emigrating to the United States four years later due to pervasive painful memories. Ms. Z. reflects on the importance of being with her mother to her survival; difficulty remembering details due to her total focus on survival in the ghetto and camps; and guilt about not sharing her story more often since so few German concentration camp prisoners survived. She shows photographs.

Z., Greta, 1927-
Dallas, Tex. : Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies, 1986
Interview Date
January 19, 1986.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Greta Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-714). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2011-05-05 11:40:00
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