Benita H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4192) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Massimo Ianetta,
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.
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 1999
- Interview Date
- March 16 and 17, 1999.
- 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.