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Suzi W. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3786)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3786

Videotape testimony of Suzi W., who was born in 1928 in Znojmo, Czechoslovakia (presently Czech Republic), an only child. She recounts a very happy childhood until age ten; attending public school; cordial relations with non-Jews; German occupation; anti-Jewish restrictions; a friend warning her father to flee; moving to Brno; her parents' arrests; living with an aunt; her aunt's arrest and suicide; living with another aunt; attending a Jewish school; participating in Tehelet Lavan, including their summer camp in 1940; her parents' release; deportation with them to Theresienstadt in January 1942; assignment to several jobs; being moved to a youth barrack; arrival of her maternal grandparents, her paternal grandmother, and her uncle and his daughter; her mother's efforts to help them; her grandparents' deaths; continuing guilt that she did not visit them enough; volunteering to learn to be an electrician; assistance from the Red Cross; attending lectures and concerts which distracted her from hunger; deportation with her parents to Birkenau; their assignment to the family camp; and slave labor in a clothing warehouse.

Ms. W. recalls declining to participate in an uprising, fearing reprisals against her parents; sexual harassment by a kapo; observing her mother's beating and her father's humiliation; bringing him extra food; his transfer; being moved with her mother to the woman's camp in Auschwitz; her mother's friend giving birth (the baby was taken from her); transfer with her mother to Hamburg two weeks later, then to Celle; improved conditions; slave labor in an oil refinery with French prisoners of war (POW); the French POWs giving them food and supplies from Red Cross packages; one endangering himself for her; Allied bombings; slave labor doing roadwork; transfer to Neugraben two months later; working as an electrician, then hard labor as punishment; transfer to Hamburg-Tiefstak, then Bergen-Belsen; total lack of food and sanitation; a high death rate; liberation by British troops; moving to Prague with her mother; traveling to Terezín to receive support payments; learning her father was alive; their reunion in Brno; meeting her future husband in Bratislava (he was in the Jewish Brigade); and emigration to Israel in 1949. Ms. W. discusses camp hierarchies and relations among prisoner groups and reversing roles as her mother became weaker.

W., Suzi, 1928-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1995
Interview Date
June 9 and 16, July 7, and November 10, 1995.
Znojmo (Czech Republic)
Brno (Czech Republic)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Terezín (Ústecký kraj, Czech Republic)
Bratislava (Slovakia)
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Suzi W. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3786). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-30 11:40:00
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