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Fela H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4254) interviewed by Michel Rosenfeldt and Cedric Lecat

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4254

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.

Author/Creator
H., Fela, 1920-
Published
Brussels, Belgium : Fondation Auschwitz, 2000
Interview Date
September 11, 12, and 13, 2000.
Language
French
Copies
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.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/6257154
Record last modified: 2016-12-19 13:10:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt6257154