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Bela Y. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3552)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3552

Videotape testimony of Bela Y., who was born in Thessalonikē, Greece in 1924, the youngest of ten children. She recounts her family's orthodoxy and affluence; ghettoization; transfer to the Baron de Hirsch quarter; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; separation from her family; deaths from starvation and disease; slave labor; a German guard twice saving her from selection; fellow prisoners sharing extra food; briefly encountering a brother; a guard injuring her when she insulted him; smuggling water to a cousin; sorting shoes of the murdered Jews; taking valuables hidden in the shoes to trade for food; transfer to the Union Kommando munitions factory; interrogation after prisoner destruction of a crematorium; a severe beating for smuggling notes; assistance from other prisoners; a death march to Wrocław; helping a friend from Thessalonikē; train transfer to Ravensbrück (many died en route); receiving Red Cross packages; becoming very ill; removal of a kidney in a nearby hospital; liberation by United States troops; traveling to Berlin; Soviet soldiers raping a friend; returning home in December; Soviets finding SS among them en route and former prisoners beating the SS; antisemitic remarks by a man who had her family's property; emigration to Israel; many surgeries resulting from removal of her kidney during the war; and eventually having children.

Y., Bela, 1924-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
July 5, 1993.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Bela Y. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3552). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.