Esther R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-172) interviewed by Dori Laub and Eva Benda
- New Haven, Conn. : Holocaust Survivors Film Project, 1980
- Interview Date
- April 24, 1980.
- 3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Esther R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-172). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Esther R., who was born in Poland and lived in a small town near Dolhinow, east of Vilna, from the age of six. She tells of her traditional religious boy's education, followed by non-religious high school. She describes life as a bookkeeper under Russian occupation; German occupation and increasing trouble with local police; anti-Jewish legislation; forced labor; hiding from mass killings, the sounds of which she could hear from her hiding place; and her subsequent reunion in the forest with surviving Jews. Aspects of her life in the forest, where she spent three years before liberation by the Russians in 1944, are recounted: maintaining a religious community; caring for others, including a young cousin who had been orphaned; working alongside men to build shelter and provide food; relationships; and defense by partisans against German attack. Mrs. R. also speaks of her feelings after liberation, when she learned that her entire immediate family had been killed; her husband, who died suddenly after fourteen years of marriage; the lasting effects of her wartime experiences; and her reluctance to speak of them to her children.