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Hella R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4179)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4179

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.

R., Hella, 1926-
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.
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Record last modified: 2016-03-28 11:15:00
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