Fela H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4254) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Cedric Lecat
- Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 2000
- Interview Date
- September 11, 12, and 13, 2000.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- Fela H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4254). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
Videotape testimony of Fela H., who was born in Mława, Poland in 1920, the fourth of nine children. She recalls her family's orthodoxy; her father teaching at a Jewish school; antisemitic harassment in the neighborhood; attending a Jewish school; training as a seamstress; joining a sister and brother in Warsaw in 1937; German invasion in 1939; destruction of their residence by German bombing; living with an aunt; her family joining them; ghettoization; hospitalization for thypus; her older brother smuggling her mother and two sisters to be hidden in Mława; working in a factory; hiding her younger brother at her work place; his round-up when she left him home; round-up with her father and two sisters; release due to her factory job; hiding in bunkers during the ghetto uprising; deportation to Majdanek; slave labor moving stones; public hangings; transfer to Auschwitz/Birkenau; slave labor moving stones; hospitalization after three months; a friend from Mława obtaining a privileged position for her in the hospital; and improved conditions.
Ms. H. recounts learning her brother was there; meetings with him (he gave her cigarettes for trading); reassignment sorting clothing in Canada Kommando; friendships with Belgian and French women; transfer to Chemnitz in September 1944; slave labor in a factory; Allied bombings; transfer to Theresienstadt in late April 1945; liberation by Soviet troops in May; assistance from the Red Cross; moving to Belgium with friends; marriage to a survivor who had a daughter (his wife and other child were killed); learning her brother was the only other survivor of her family; their reunion; his emigration to Argentina; and the births of two children. Ms. H. discusses dehumanization in camps; always thinking of her family; relations between prisoner groups; not sharing her experiences, wanting to shield her children and husband from pain; traveling to the camps with her granddaughter; nightmares resulting from her experiences; and her continuing belief in God. She sings songs from the ghetto and camps.