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Oral history testimony of Paula Dash

Oral History | Accession Number: 2009.281.1 | RG Number: RG-50.009.0001

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Paula Dash, born December 3, 1920 in Lodz, Poland, discusses the German invasion; how Jews were beaten by the Germans; having to wear a star; Jews having to turn in their valuables; her life in the Lodz ghetto from 1940 to 1944; the rations in the ghetto and “ghetto sickness”; the death of her father in the ghetto due to starvation; the deportation of her sister to Treblinka and murder in the gas chamber; the deportation of her brother to Auschwitz and his death during a death march; the hanging of Jews in the street; deaths in the winter of 1943 due to cold and hunger; the daily deportations; how the deported Jews communicated with the ghetto by leaving notes in the wagons and described the atrocities they were seeing; the execution of Jews in Chelmno, Poland; a “Kinder Aktion”, during which the Nazis rounded up children from their homes, put them in a wagon, and burned them alive; being deported in August 1944 with her mother and youngest brother; arriving at Auschwitz and being separated from her family; being given a number but no tattoo; the conditions in the camp; using the latrine; the sleeping conditions; how one afternoon she was sent to the gas chambers, told to undress, made to wait until the next morning to be gassed, and being saved by a sudden need in the camp for 300 women; being sent to Breman to do hard labor until February 1945; being sent on a death march to Bergen-Belsen in March 1945; being crammed with other prisoners in a dark barrack where Nazis poured boiling water on them to quiet them down; seeing piles of dead people; sickness in the camp; watching a mass grave being dug and prisoners dragging bodies to it; seeing some male prisoners become cannibals and how one of these men was then kicked and beaten to death; coming down with typhus and being saved by four friends; being liberated the next day by the British; how she still has a towel she had during her imprisonment and a piece of soap made out of Jewish fat; and her immigration to the United States June 1, 1951.

Collection Subtitle
Paula Dash Remembers
Interviewee
Paula Dash
Date
1987 November 23  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Holocaust Eyewitness Project and Edith Fierst
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:36:35
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn39547