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Alice I. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4057) interviewed by Yannis Thanassekos and Michel Rosenfeldt,

Oral History | Digitized | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4057

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    Videotape testimony of Alice I., who was born in Rhodes, Italy (presently Greece), a twin and one of five children. She recounts her family's orthodoxy; their affluence; cordial relations with Italians; attending an Italian school; expulsion in 1938 due to racial laws; attending a clandestine school; many Jews emigrating; her two older sisters living with uncles in Brussels and Paris; Allied bombings; her sisters returning because her uncles believing it safer in Rhodes; living in Ialysos for a month to escape bombings; German occupation; round-up in July 1943; a friend (an Italian officer) offering to hide her, her twin brother, and younger sister; her mother refusing, wanting to keep the family together; Italian priests and nuns bringing them food; transfer to Piraeus, then to Haidari; her teacher's death; deportation with her family by cattle car to Auschwitz/Birkenau in September 1944; separation by gender; selection with her mother, brother, and younger sister; a German moving her to the group with her older sisters; the older of her sisters protecting them; forming a group with other Rhodians, including her cousins; the death of the younger of her sisters; her older sister's hospitalization; sleeping with her until the doctor would not allow it (she never saw her sister again); and a Greek prisoner helping her join a group for transfer in November.

    Ms. I recalls slave labor in Landsberg; public hangings; remaining with her Rhodian group; transfer to Dachau for a day, then to Türkheim; her group obtaining privileged assignments in the kitchen and the Kommandant's house; assistance from the Kommandant's wife; a Red Cross visit; transfer back to Landsberg; a death march to Dachau, then Allach; supporting each other; liberation by United States troops days later; an American physician who had known her mother, caring for her; repatriation to Bolzano with her group; traveling with friends to Bologna, then Florence; assistance from the Joint; her uncle from Paris (he had survived in hiding) coming to get her; living with his family in Saint-Vincent, then Paris; antisemitic harassment in school; meeting her future husband, a former Rhodian who was living in Zaire (Congo); joining him in Africa; marriage, the births of three children; and moving to Brussels in 1959. Ms. I. discusses the importance to survival of prisoners helping each other; pervasive fear in the camps; singing songs to raise their morale; depression upon liberation, realizing her losses and being the sole survivor of her immediate family; her husband and children giving her the sense of rebuilding a family; not sharing her story with her children; her grandchildren's interest; a painful visit to Rhodes with them; and the impossibility of conveying the horror of the camps in films.
    I., Alice, 1931-
    Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1996
    Interview Date
    October 21, 1996.
    Rhodes (Greece : Island)
    Ialysos (Greece)
    Piraeus (Greece)
    Bolzano (Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy)
    Bologna (Italy)
    Florence (Italy)
    Saint-Vincent (Italy)
    Paris (France)
    Congo (Democratic Republic)
    Cite As
    Alice I. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4057). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
    Other Authors/Editors
    Rosenfeldt, Michel, interviewer.
    Thanassekos, Yannis, interviewer.
    This testimony is in French.

    Physical Details

    2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
    Physical Description
    1 videorecording (3 hr., 13 min.) : col

    Keywords & Subjects

    Subjects (Local Yale)
    Child survivors.
    Antisemitism Prewar.
    Aid by non-Jews.
    Mutual aid.
    Postwar experiences.
    Postwar effects.
    Antisemitism Postwar.
    Survivor-child relations.
    Holocaust survivors. Video tapes. Women. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Children. Jewish children in the Holocaust. Sisters. Concentration camp inmates--Family relationships. Concentration camps--Songs and music. Concentration camps--Psychological aspects. Forced labor. Death marches. World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities. Italy. Rhodes (Greece : Island) Ialysos (Greece) Piraeus (Greece) Bolzano (Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy) Bologna (Italy) Florence (Italy) Saint-Vincent (Italy) Paris (France) Congo (Democratic Republic) Oral histories (document genres) I., Alice,--1931- Haidari (Concentration camp) Auschwitz (Concentration camp) Birkenau (Concentration camp) Landsberg (Concentration camp) Türkheim (Concentration camp) Dachau (Concentration camp) Allach (Concentration camp) International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

    Administrative Notes

    Link to Yale University Library Catalog:
    Record last modified:
    2018-05-29 11:52:00
    This page:

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