Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Edit K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3333)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3333

Videotape testimony of Edit K., who was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1929, an only child. She recounts her grandfather's political career; warm relations with her grandmother; attending a German school; German occupation; learning she was Jewish due to anti-Jewish restrictions; her parents sending her to live with friends in a village for a year; returning home; attending a Jewish school; participating in athletics led by Fredy Hirsch; her parents' futile efforts to emigrate; learning her father's brother had reached Palestine; writing a diary that she still has; her grandparents' deportation to Theresienstadt, then her's and her parents a few months later; learning her grandfather had died; living in a children's barrack; visiting her parents, grandmother, and other relatives; receiving packages from her uncle's non-Jewish wife; many deaths from disease; attending classes, including those of artist Friedl Dicker; participating in musical performances; observances of Jewish holidays, a first for her; transfer to Auschwitz in late 1943; separation from her father; horror when her mother suggested they commit suicide; assignment with her parents to the family camp; her father's death in February 1944; Fredy Hirsch organizing the children's barrack; assisting with the younger children; transfer with her mother to Friehafen (Hamburg); slave labor in a munitions factory; and clearing rubble from Allied bombings.

Ms. K. recalls contacts with Italian, French, and Yugoslav POWs who helped them; transfer to Neugraben; sneaking food from the ruins; transfer to Tiefstak; assignment to a brick factory; finding cigarettes they could trade for food; a civilian worker who had known her grandfather bringing them food and clothing; transfer to Bergen-Belsen; pervasive death; observing cannibalism; liberation by British troops; working as an interpreter; her mother's death; returning to Prague; reunion with her aunt and grandmother; resuming her education; marriage; and the births of three children. She discusses the importance of friendships to her survival; inability to feel happy for many years due to her experiences; her daughter's death; her sons' lack of interest in her experiences; visiting Theresienstadt; inclusion of drawings she made in Theresienstadt in exhibits in Prague and at Yad Vashem; remembering Auschwitz and Belsen through her sense of smell; and believing no one can imagine the camps if they have not smelled them nor starvation if they have not experienced it.

K., Edit, 1929-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
Interview Date
February 28, March 24, and May 15, 1992.
Prague (Czech Republic)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Edit K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3333). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-30 11:51:00
This page: