Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Elsa R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-625) interviewed by Emanuel Landau and Lilian Sicular,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-625

Videotape testimony of Elsa R., who was born in Lübeck, Germany, in 1908. Ms. R. tells of leaving her family in 1929 to work in Munich; antisemitism; disillusionment with her Christian fiance, who alone knew she was Jewish; and obtaining a post in Turin, Italy in 1935 with the help of an anti-Nazi company official. She relates visiting her sister in Rome; friendship with her firm's Turin representative; the 1938 laws expelling all foreign Jews; unsuccessful attempts to obtain an American visa; her friends' bribery of police, so her file might be "lost"; arrest; transport in 1940 to a women's camp for political internees and prostitutes at Casacalenda; camp conditions; receiving permission for an unsupervised visit to Turin; Italian capitulation; German occupation; and liberation by Canadian soldiers. She recounts briefly staying at an ex-POW camp in Bari; working for the Allied Military Government (AMG); transfer to another AMG detachment at Udine; departure on a liberty ship from Genoa; and arrival in Charleston, South Carolina. She reflects on how the war changed her life; pride in her achievements; and closeness with her sister.

R., Elsa, 1908-
New York, N.Y. : Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, 1985
Interview Date
November 3, 1985.
Lübeck (Germany)
Munich (Germany)
Turin (Italy)
Rome (Italy)
Bari (Italy)
Udine (Italy)
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Elsa R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-625). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-03-06 14:11:00
This page: