Hella R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4179)
- Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 2000
- Interview Date
- October 26, 2000 and November 2, 2000.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Hella R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4179). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Hella R., who was born in Adamów, Poland in 1926, the oldest of six children. She recounts moving to Warsaw when she was four; summers with her maternal grandparents in Adamów; attending a Jewish school; German invasion; her mother and siblings returning to Adamów (she never saw them again); ghettoization; studying with a tutor; smuggling food into the ghetto; a Polish friend bringing a letter from her mother; hospitalization for typhus; escaping from a round-up; factory work with her father; hiding in a bunker during the uprising; discovery; deportation to Majdanek; volunteering for transfer at her father's suggestion (she never saw him again); transport to Auschwitz/Birkenau; working in Canada Kommando; exchanging valuables for extra food; she and others fasting on Yom Kippur; liquidation of the Zigeunerlager (Gypsy Lager); observing Mala Zimetbaum's public suicide; the uprising in a crematorium; a death march; her friends helping her walk; train transfer to Ravensbrück, then Neustadt-Glewe; abandonment by the Germans; liberation by French POWs, then Soviet troops; walking to Myślibórz, then Łódź; marriage; traveling to Szczecin, Frankfurt, then Munich; her son's birth; living in Bad Reichenhall displaced persons camp; emigration to Israel in 1949; and the births of three daughters. Ms. R. discusses the importance of her friends' support to her survival; testifying at a war crimes trial in Dusseldorf; nightmares resulting from her experiences; and not sharing details of her experiences with her children. She sings ghetto songs.