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Hélène K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4246) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Christel Sculteur

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4246

Videotape testimony of Hélène K., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1919, the youngest of six children. She recounts their move to Brussels in 1923; her happy childhood; her family's assimilated life style; working in her father's business from age thirteen; one brother's emigration to Lyon; becoming more religious after marriage to an orthodox man in 1937; German invasion in May 1940; fleeing with her family to Paris, then Buzet; one brother fleeing to England; returning to Brussels a year later; anti-Jewish restrictions; obtaining false papers; she and her husband hiding with a family in Waterloo; her parents' deportation; arrest when visiting relatives in Brussels in November 1942; imprisonment in Avenue Louise; her husband joining her; deportation to Malines; arrival of two brothers and their wives; her husband establishing a tailoring workshop at the kommandant's request; her privileged position there; receiving food packages from the family that had hidden her; sharing them with others; frequent deportation trains that included her brothers and their wives; abandonment by the Germans in September 1944; returning to Brussels; friends returning many of their possessions; retrieving her brother's daughter from hiding; reunion with two brothers who had not been deported; learning of the killing camps and that her remaining family did not survive; and her son's birth in November 1945. Ms. K. discusses hierarchies in Malines; reporting those who had denounced her brother; her and her husband's illnesses and nightmares resulting from their experiences; his death in the 1970s; sharing her story with her son; the importance of being with her husband to her survival; and losing any belief in God due to her experiences.

Author/Creator
K., Hélène, 1919-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 2000
Interview Date
January 26 and 27, 2000.
Language
French
Copies
2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Hélène K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4246). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/6256142
Record last modified: 2016-11-08 14:12:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt6256142