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Ester E. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3850)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3850

Videotape testimony of Ester E., who was born in Šal̕a, Czechoslovakia (presently Slovakia) in 1926, one of four children. She recounts her family's affluence; Hungarian occupation in 1938; her older brother's emigration to Palestine in 1939; certification as a seamstress; German invasion in 1944; ghettoization; arrests and beatings of her father; transfer to the Nové Zámky ghetto; a letter from her brother noting he had documents for their emigration to Palestine; her mother's refusal to leave her relatives; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau in May; she and one sister's separation from their family (they never saw them again); useless slave labor; her cousin arranging a privileged position as a seamstress, for which she received extra food; a male prisoner giving her better shoes; transfer to Bergen-Belsen in September, then to Duderstadt in November; slave labor in a munitions factory; a civilian worker leaving her extra food; her sister's death; a death march to Raguhn; hiding with others during the evacuation; their discovery and arrest; the local police releasing them; working for local Germans; liberation by United States troops; assistance from a Jewish soldier with whom she is still in contact; being cared for in Bitterfeld, then Halle; contacting her brother in Palestine; returning home; recovering hidden valuables; sheltering youth preparing to emigrate to Palestine under the auspices of Bene ʻAḳiva; marriage; illegal emigration to Palestine via Marseille in 1946; incarceration on Cyprus; the birth of a sickly child who died; reunion with her brother; and the subsequent births of three daughters. Ms. E. discusses pervasive painful memories; only recently sharing her experiences with her children and grandchildren; and learning five years ago that her sister was buried in the Jewish cemetery in the city of Duderstadt. She sings a Hungarian song and shows photographs and documents.

E., Ester, 1926-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996 and 1997
Interview Date
October 25, 1996 and January 23, 1997.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ester E. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3850). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.