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Oral history interview with Carolina Taitz

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

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

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.

Interviewee
Ms. Carolina Taitz
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
2010 January 24  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : WAV.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:07:13
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn39809