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Yafa R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3878)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3878

Videotape testimony of Yafa R., who was born in Bełżyce, Poland in 1923, the oldest of four children. She recalls her family's orthodoxy; her father's business in Niedrzwica Duża; spending summers there; participating in Gordonyah; living with relatives in Lublin to attend high school; briefly living with a family in Zaklików; German invasion in September 1939; confiscation of the family business; her father obtaining false papers for her; arranging for a job in Kraków as a non-Jew; deciding not to go in order to remain with her family; hiding jewelry in their cellar and placing possessions with non-Jewish friends; ghettoization; hiding during round-ups with assistance from a German; deportation with her family and fiance to Kraśnik; transfer to Budzyn (her father remained in Kraśnik); assignment as a maid to a Ukrainian who left her extra food; a non-Jew smuggling her to see her father in Kraśnik and her father to see them once; the women in her block helping each other; visiting her fiance every evening; hiding her brother during appells (he was not registered); brutal treatment by Kommandant Reinhold Feiks; and humane treatment by Noah Stockman, the highest ranking Jewish prisoner.
Ms. R. recounts transfer with her family and fiance to Majdanek; assignment to slave labor in the laundry; separation from her brother when the death march started; train transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau; slave labor breaking and moving stones; fasting on Yom Kippur, which helped them feel human again; a heartbreaking farewell to her sister Dvora and her cousin when she, her mother, and other sister were transferred to Bergen-Belsen; volunteering with her mother and cousin for transfer; slave labor at Raguhn in a factory; a German giving her extra food; sharing it with her mother and sister; their transfer to Theresienstadt; she and her sister becoming ill with typhus; liberation by Soviet troops; hospitalization; learning her brother was alive; living in a convent in Prague; traveling to Lublin; reunion with her brother, then her sister and cousin; retrieving possessions and their jewelry from Bełżyce; her fiance's arrival; learning her father had not survived; selling family property; leaving in December 1945; living in Lampertheim displaced persons camp; marriage; her son's birth in December 1948; and their emigration to Israel in January 1949.

R., Yafa, 1923-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996 and 1997
Interview Date
December 12 and 26, 1996 and January 9, 1997.
Bełżyce (Poland)
Niedrzwica Duża (Poland)
Lublin (Poland)
Zaklików (Poland)
Prague (Czech Republic)
2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Yafa R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3878). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:34:00
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