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Helene H. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4396) interviewed by Joanne Weiner Rudof and Barbara Hadley Katz

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4396

Videotape testimony of Helene H., who was born in Paks, Hungary in 1930, the third of seven children. She recounts her family's Hasidism; her father's successful dairy business; cordial relations with non-Jews; the mayor providing her father with documents attesting to his Hungarian ancestry, although he was born in Berlin; German invasion in 1944; Germans shaving her father's beard; her eldest brother hiding with a non-Jew in Budapest; her father's deportation; deportation with her mother and siblings to Auschwitz; separation from her siblings and mother (she remained with two cousins); a woman giving birth (the Germans killed the child); selection for medical experiments; receiving an injection; changing places with a fellow prisoner so she could be with her mother; a kapo breaking her nose and teeth during a beating; extraction of her teeth due to infection; finding a prayer book; her sister throwing her food; transfer to Guben; slave labor in a munitions factory; other prisoners encouraging her to sabotage production; hanging of a friend accused of sabotage; praying frequently; prisoners giving her aspirin when she was ill; a death march with her cousin six months later; guards attacking prisoners with dogs; a soldier bandaging her wound; a German woman giving her potatoes; arrival in Bergen-Belsen; her cousin's death; liberation by British troops; transfer to the Bergen-Belsen refugee camp; a cousin locating her in 1946; traveling to Budapest; reunion with a sister and brother; returning briefly to Paks, then traveling to Czechoslovakia; emigration with her sister to London; marriage; emigration to the United States in 1986; and the births of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, from whom she derives great pleasure. Ms. H. shows the prayer book, and photographs.

Author/Creator
H., Helene, 1930-
Published
New Haven, Conn. : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 2007
Interview Date
June 5, 2007.
Language
English
Copies
3 copies: DVCam Master; Betacam SP submaster; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Helene H. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4396). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.