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Irena B. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3559)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3559

Videotape testimony of Irena B., who was born in Kraków, Poland in 1923, the youngest of three sisters. She recounts visits to her grandfather's farm in Borek Fałęcki; attending a Polish school, then a Jewish gymnasium; German invasion; her father, sister, brother-in-law, and their child fleeing to Lʹviv (she never saw them again); anti-Jewish restrictions; completing a nursing course; eviction; joining an uncle with her mother and sister in Borek; her sister's marriage; working as a German teacher; receiving postcards from her father who had been deported by the Soviets to Samarkand; assignment to the Kraków ghetto in March 1942; forced labor in a brush factory; her mother's deportation (she never saw her again); living with her uncle; arrival of Soviet prisoners of war who were treated worse than the Jews; her sister's husband obtaining false papers; their escape; transfer to Płaszów; a family friend preventing her rape by a Ukranian guard; a public hanging; obtaining extra food from friends; transfer to Skarżysko-Kamienna; encountering a cousin and a friend; assignment to the kitchen of Werk B; Ukrainian guards providing extra food that she shared with fellow prisoners; assisting her cousin who was very weak; a woman suffocating a child after giving birth; reassignment to the munitions factory; transfer to Częstochowa; improved conditions; her cousin's transfer; liberation by Soviet troops; and returning to Kraków. Ms. B. discusses loneliness, starvation, cruelty, the prisoner hierarchy, and her reluctance to share her story with anybody.

B., Irena, 1923-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
June 27, 1993.
Soviet Union
Kraków (Poland)
Borek Fałęcki (Poland)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Irena B. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3559). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.