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Ester S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3874)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3874

Videotape testimony of Ester S., who was born in Šal̕a, Czechoslovakia (presently Slovakia) in 1927, the second of four children. She recounts a wonderful childhood; attending a Jewish school, then public high school; her uncle's emigration to Palestine in 1938; Hungarian occupation; antisemitic harassment by classmates; anti-Jewish restrictions resulting in termination of her father's job in 1942; knitting socks to help support the family; her father's arrest; visiting him in Trnovec; his release; visiting relatives in Nové Zámky; meeting her future husband; his draft into a Hungarian slave labor battalion; German invasion in March; ghettoization; her father's draft for slave labor (she never saw him again); deportation with her family to the Nové Zámky ghetto, then to Auschwitz/Birkenau; separation from her mother and brothers; remaining with an aunt and sister; dehumanizing arrival procedures; refusing to believe what veteran prisoners told them about the smoke stacks; huddling together to keep warm; transfer two weeks later to Langenbielau; slave labor in the Flechtner weaving factory; knitting socks to trade for food; a five-day march to Parschnitz; throwing food to passing male prisoners; fasting on Yom Kippur; transfer back to the Flechtner factory two weeks later; abandonment by German guards in May 1945; liberation by Soviet troops; returning home via Prague and Bratislava; finally realizing that the rest of their family had been killed; reunion with her fiancé; joining a kibbutz in Budapest; marriage; traveling to Belgium; her son's birth in 1947; emigration to Palestine via France; her husband's draft into the Israeli military; and her daughter's birth. Ms. S. discusses not sharing her experiences with her children until they were adults, not wanting them to be haunted by the Holocaust and her experiences. She shows photographs and documents, and reads a poem and letter she wrote.

S., Ester, 1927-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996
Interview Date
November 28 and December 5, 1996.
Nové Zámky
Šal̕a (Slovakia)
Trnovec nad Váhom (Slovakia)
Nové Zámky (Slovakia)
Bratislava (Slovakia)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Budapest (Hungary)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Ester S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3874). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.