Edit K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3333)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
- Interview Date
- February 28, March 24, and May 15, 1992.
- 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.
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.