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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; 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 younger brother during appells (he was not registered); brutal treatment by Kommandant 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 youngest 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 (HVT-3846) 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, 1996-1997
Interview Date
December 12 and 26, 1996 and January 9, 1997.
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.
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Record last modified: 2016-11-08 13:16:00
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