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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.

Author/Creator
E., Ester, 1926-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996 and 1997
Interview Date
October 25, 1996 and January 23, 1997.
Locale
Slovakia
Nové Zámky
Šal̕a
Czechoslovakia
Šal̕a (Slovakia)
Bitterfeld (Germany)
Halle an der Saale (Germany)
Cyprus
Palestine
Marseille (France)
Language
Hebrew
Copies
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.