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Oral history interview with Carolina Taitz

Oral History | Accession Number: 2010.23 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0179

Carolina Taitz (née Lena Knoch), born on February 24, 1929 in Russia on a train, discusses her childhood in Viesite, Latvia; having friendly relations with schoolmates in her Latvian public school; how her father, a tree doctor, lost his business and the family house and was temporarily imprisoned as a capitalist when the Russian Communists occupied the town; experiencing a lot of antisemitism; seeing Jews being shot on the street when the Germans came in 1941; being forced to live in the ghetto in Riga, Latvia with five people to a room and little food; getting hit in the eye when a German soldier caught her with a cooked potato; being forced to work in a shoe polish factory from 5 AM to 5 PM; going on a forced march with 30,000 people guarded by German soldiers; seeing and hearing people being shot in a ditch in the Rumbula forest; walking with her mother, sister, and 200 other women to Termini prison; staying on the roof in the cold for two weeks in November 1942 and the birth of a baby, named Termina; going back to the ghetto; dressing as a boy going to work and escaping during a second Aktion when she was 14 years old; taking off her yellow star; being sheltered by a Russian Evangelist priest, Vladimir Michko, and his sister for two and a half years; living in their cellar; going back to Riga at liberation; her mother returning from Auschwitz but dying soon after; attending acting school; getting married and having a daughter; trying for 10 years to go to the United States, and finally getting a visa with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt; arriving in New York in March 1966; working at the New York City Opera for 19 years in charge of costumes, wigs, and makeup for the productions; being widowed twice and moving to Washington, DC in 2008; and still seeing her mother and little brother in her dreams and herself running away from German soldiers.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Ms. Carolina Taitz
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
interview:  2010 January 24
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : WAV.
 
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:40:14
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn39809