Irena S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3937) interviewed by Peter Salner and Eva Salnerová
- Bratislava, Slovakia : Milan Šimečka Foundation, 1996
- Interview Date
- May 5, 1996.
- 3 copies: Betacam SP dub; 1/2 VHS in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Irena S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3937). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Irena S., who was born in approximately 1941. She recounts learning at age twenty-seven that she may have been born in Poland; being left in Slovakia in September 1943 when she was very ill (she speculates her biological parents were attempting to escape to Hungary); a Jewish man taking her and promising to send her to her parents when she recovered; the town doctor placing her with a Jewish couple; obtaining false papers through her foster mother's sister; bonding with her foster parents within a month; learning Germans were approaching; the adults deciding to hide in the mountains and leave the children with non-Jewish neighbors; being left with a non-Jewish family for a week before the departure; her impossible behavior; her mother deciding to stay with her; the adult group deciding to bring her with them, despite the dangers of having a young child; living in a hut, then a bunker; moving several times; becoming “everyone's child”; moving to Prešov after liberation; her father's incarceration in 1950; their forced relocation to a village; terrible conditions; her father's release a year later; completing high school; applying to university three times due to political issues; admission in 1958; studying journalism; her father's death in 1965; a government job; and resigning in 1991 due to antisemitism. Ms. S. discusses at length events and issues related to discovering her parents were not her biological parents; not being able to imagine loving her mother more than she does, particularly since her mother risked her life for her, a stranger's child; and not knowing which are her real memories and which result from being told about her childhood.