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Elisabeth L. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4028) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Michel Rosenfeldt

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4028

Videotape testimony of Elisabeth L., a non-Jew, who was born in Etterbeek, Belgium in 1913. She recounts her father's World War I military service; her mother leaving her to find him in France; joining her mother near Paris in 1916; returning to Belgium in 1918; her parents' divorce; living with her mother; working as a secretary/accountant; distributing anti-German materials in Brussels in 1940; assisting downed Allied pilots through the Resistance; betrayal of their unit; arrest on February 20, 1943; nine months incarceration in St. Gilles; a death sentence in May; deportation to Germany as a "Nacht und Nebel" prisoner; imprisonment at Aachen for a month; transfer to Hof, Waldheim, Cotbus, then Ravensbrück; moving from a tent barrack to a building; slave labor sorting clothing and household goods; finding warm clothing which saved those who wore it; the deaths of thirty of their group in the first month; no solidarity except within her group; hospitalization when she was ill; discussing food and recipes; transfer to Mauthausen; observing cannibalism; liberation; Red Cross assistance; recuperating in Switzerland and Paris; and repatriation. Ms. L. discusses surviving because of her ability not to give up; not discussing the camps, even with camp friends; and learning of the Holocaust only after the war.

Author/Creator
L., Elisabeth, 1913-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1995
Interview Date
May 10, 1995.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Elisabeth L. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4028). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.