Rivka K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3342) interviewed by Nathan Beyrak
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1992
- Interview Date
- May 21, 1992.
- 2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Rivka K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3342). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Rivka K., who was born in Rzeszów, Poland, in 1920, one of two children. She recounts her family's Zionism; attending Hebrew schools; participating in Zionist youth groups; her family's move to Kraków in 1933; attending a Hebrew gymnasium; participating in Ha-No'ar ha-Ivri-Akiba led by Yoel Dreiblatt; antisemitic harassment; working for Akiba in Warsaw; being sent to establish Akiba in Bydgoszcz, Skarżysko, and Starachowice; assisting German-Jewish refugees in Zbąszyń; returning to Kraków as a leader with Shimon Draenger, Adolf Liebeskind (Dolek) and others; engagement to Liebeskind in January 1939; German invasion; Germans closing her father's factory; anti-Jewish restrictions; Draenger's arrest and release; marriage in December; traveling to Warsaw to destroy all the Akiba documents; working on a Polish farm with other Akiba members in spring 1940; ghettoization in Kraków; she and her husband bringing their parents to the ghetto; and obtaining housing through her husband's connections with the Judenrat; establishing a farm in another town with support from the Joint; traveling to other ghettos using false papers to maintain Akiba contacts; organizing Jewish resistance on the farm; working in a warehouse, then as a nurse; deportations; obtaining weapons; blowing up railroad tracks with Hashomer Hatzair; many near-arrests when traveling to Wiśnicz, Sandomierz, Mielec and other places; hiding briefly with her former maid; having two abortions; arrest; beatings during interrogations; and Akiba members helping each other.
Ms. K. recalls deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; slave labor demolishing nearby houses; others assisting her when she was too weak to walk; a friend arranging her assignment to the Canada Kommando; sharing extra food and clothing with others; contact with Akiba members in the men's camp; learning her husband had been killed; losing hope, knowing her parents and brother were also dead; learning of the underground; being sent to the “punishment” block; friends arranging her transfer to the hospital as a nurse; sneaking herself into a transport to Reichenbach; slave labor in a factory; sabotaging the work; a German civilian supervisor giving her food; a higher ranking prisoner taking measure to save weak women; a death march, then train transport to Parschnitz; working as a maid in another camp; train transport to Ludwigslust; Allied bombings; transfer to Bergen-Belsen, then Hamburg; transfer to the Red Cross; transport to Copenhagen, then Helsingborg; participating in Hechaulutz; organizing a youth kibbutz in Myckelby; members emigrating to Palestine; traveling to Belgium and Paris, where she met her father's siblings; illegal emigration from Marseille to Palestine in 1947; interdiction by the British; incarceration on Cyprus; participating in Haganah; digging tunnels and escaping through them; arrival in Israel; marriage; and the birth of her son. Ms. K. discusses the importance of support from others for survival in camps; health problems resulting from her experiences; observing Jewish holidays in camps; and testifying for a ghetto official who had been accused of collaboration. She names many of those with whom she interacted and describes many episodes.