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Selma E. Holocaust testimony (HVT-42) interviewed by Laurel Vlock and Nanette Auerhahn

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-42

Videotape testimony of Selma E., who was born in Groningen, Holland, in 1922 and grew up in Zuidwolde, Holland, where her family operated a kosher hotel. She recounts her prewar family life; the influx of German Jews in 1938; anti-Jewish legislation following the German occupation of Holland; going into hiding; her capture and internment in the Dutch camps of Vught and Westerbork; and her deportation to Sobibór. She describes her arrival at Sobibór; her gradual realization that she was in an extermination camp; her work sorting the clothing of the victims of gassing; and the circumstances under which she met her husband-to-be, Chaim, who was active in the camp underground. She vividly recalls the brutality and dehumanization that characterized daily life in Sobibór; her sustaining relationship with Chaim; and the uprising and her escape, with Chaim, from the camp. She tells of their hiding in the Polish countryside; spending nine months in the hayloft of a Polish farmer, during which time she became pregnant; and liberation by the Russians in July 1944. Postwar recollections include her difficulties adjusting to her life in Poland; the birth of her child, who did not survive; postwar antisemitism in Poland; and her attempt to emigrate to Holland with her husband and child.

E., Selma, 1922-
New Haven, Conn. : Holocaust Survivors Film Project, 1980
Interview Date
March 1, 1980.
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Selma E. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-42). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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Record last modified: 2013-11-14 10:12:00
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