Yafa R. Holocaust testimony (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.
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1996 and 1997
- Interview Date
- December 12 and 26, 1996 and January 9, 1997.
Niedrzwica Duża (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.