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Hadassah R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-530) interviewed by Kathy Strochlic and Batik Woller

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-530

Videotape testimony of Hadassah R., who was born in Koło around 1923. She recalls attending Polish school in Dąbie Miasto; the German invasion; posing as a Christian to return to Koło; atrocities committed against Jews, particularly the brutal beating of her brother; establishment of a killing center in nearby Chełmno, from which she escaped; posing as a non-Jew; and meeting other Jews hiding near Grabów. Mrs. R. describes ghettos in Ozorków and Łęczyca; working in a typhus hospital; transfer to Łódź; attempts to warn Rumkowski about the Chełmno killing center; her sense that people simply could not assimilate this information ("they had eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear"); transfer to Auschwitz on the same transport as Ḥayim Rumkowski; incidents with Josef Mengele; transfer to the Zigeunerlager (Gypsy Lager); transport to Austria; and liberation by Americans on May 1, 1945. Mrs. R. relates travel to Italy to find her brother; work in Modena; the kindness of the Italians; attempts to reach Palestine; interception by the British and internment in a prison camp; the stress of three wars in Israel leading to her decision to emigrate; marriage and the birth of a daughter in Cuba; emigration to the United States in 1960; the birth of her second daughter; and her desire to convey her experience to students. Mrs. R. hopes that telling her story may help prevent a recurrence.

Author/Creator
R., Hadassah, 1923?-
Published
New York, N.Y. : Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, 1984
Interview Date
November 12, 1984.
Locale
Poland
Łódź
Łęczyca (Płock)
Ozorków
Austria
Cuba
ʻAtlit (Israel)
Koło (Województwo Wielkopolskie, Poland)
Dąbie (Poland)
Łódź (Poland)
Łęczyca (Łęczyca, Poland)
Ozorków (Poland)
Grabów nad Prosna (Poland)
Modena (Italy)
Palestine
Language
English
Copies
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Hadassah R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-530). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.