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Yvonne R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3538)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3538

Videotape testimony of Yvonne R., who was born in Thessalonikē, Greece in approximately 1929, the oldest of four children. She recounts living in the Baron de Hirsch neighborhood; German invasion; ghettoization; deaths from starvation; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; separation from her family (she never saw her mother or siblings again); slave labor in a textile factory; liquidation of the Zigeunerlager (Gypsy Lager); transfer to Canada Kommando; sorting clothing of murdered Jews; trading “stolen” clothing for food; hiding a friend selected for death; assistance from a Polish, non-Jewish prisoner; reassignment to digging ditches as punishment for “stealing”; transfer to the Union Kommando; assistance from a Greek pharmacist; public hangings; a brief visit with her father (he gave her good shoes); a death march to Ravensbrück; transfer to Malchow; escaping with fifteen others from a death march; hiding in a forest; liberation by Soviet troops; friends being raped by Soviet soldiers; hospitalization in Neubrandenburg; returning home; contact with her father in Italy; preparing for emigration to Palestine in Athens; illegal emigration; incarceration in ʻAtlit; release; reunion with her father; marriage; and the births of her children. Ms. R. discusses her strong will to live contributing to her survival; relations between prisoners from different countries; debilitating depression resulting from her experiences; fearing disbelief of her story; and not sharing her experiences with her children, except one who is interested.

R., Yvonne, 1928-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
March 18, 1993.
Thessalonikē (Greece)
Neubrandenburg (Germany)
Athens (Greece)
ʻAtlit (Israel)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Yvonne R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3538). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.