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Benita H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4192) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Massimo Ianetta,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4192

Videotape testimony of Benita H., who was born in Liepāja, Lithuania in 1922, one of two daughters. She recounts her mother's family had converted to Protestantism to obtain privileges; their affluence; their move to Danzig (Gdańsk); her sister's birth; their move to Spa then Brussels in 1930; being tutored at home; attending a private school, then never returning due to antisemitic harassment; German invasion in spring 1940; a vain attempt to reach England; anti-Jewish restrictions; her father's illness and surgery; receiving a notice for deportation to Malines in July 1942; obeying despite offers to be hidden, fearing repercussions for her parents; her sister accompanying her; being chosen to work; sorting belongings of arriving prisoners; her sister's assignment typing lists deportees; a German camp official protecting them from deportations; privileged living conditions; witnessing a prisoner beaten to death; fasting Jews being forced to watch them eat on Yom Kippur; corresponding with her parents and receiving packages from them; admiring the courage of Romanies who were abusively treated; bringing milk to the children on transports; hospitalization; the doctors keeping her wound open so she would not be deported; release of her and her sister just prior to liberation; reunion with their parents who were in hiding; liberation by British troops; and testifying at a war crime trial. Ms. H. discusses developing her Jewish identity during and after the war; her sister's decision not to be identified as Jewish and her emigration to the United States; trips to the United States and Israel; and continuing relationships with camp friends. She reads from her writings and shows documents and photographs.

H., Benita, 1922-
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1999
Interview Date
March 16 and 17, 1999.
Liepāja (Latvia)
Gdańsk (Poland)
Spa (Belgium)
Brussels (Belgium)
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Benita H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4192). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-30 11:50:00
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