Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Helen S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-2502) interviewed by Alberta Strage,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-2502

Videotape testimony of Helen S., who was born in Będzin, Poland in 1920, the youngest of three children. She recounts her family's orthodoxy and affluence; attending Hebrew school; German invasion; fleeing to Olkusz; Germans arresting her father, uncle, and brothers; traveling to Kielce to obtain their release; returning home; marriage; her father and one brother working for the Judenrat; ghettoization; having an abortion; hiding with her family and others in a bunker during a round-up in August 1943; their discovery; deportation to Birkenau; separation with her sister-in-law from her parents and husband; her sister-in-law caring for her; their hospitalization for typhus (her sister-in-law died); a Slovak prisoner giving her extra food and hiding her during work; hospitalization for frostbite; transfer to Canada Kommando; a futile attempt to hide a baby; passing found valuables to the underground; the uprising in October; transfer to Auschwitz; a death march and train transfer to Ravensbrück, then Zwodau; posing as non-Jews with five other Jewish women; their denouncement; confinement in a cellar with no food; liberation by United States troops; transport to Paris; contact with her husband, who was in England; emigration to join him; the births of two sons; and her husband's death. Ms. S. discusses having her tattoo removed; a headmaster refusing admission to her son because they are Jewish; a painful visit to Auschwitz and Bedzin; and her strong faith and Jewish identity, despite not being religious. She shows photographs, documents, and a belt she found in Auschwitz.

S., Helen, 1920-
London, England : British Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
September 22, 1993.
Będzin (Poland)
Olkusz (Poland)
Kielce (Poland)
Paris (France)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Helen S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-2502). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:26:00
This page: