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Oral history interview with Irene Greenfeld

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.177.3 | RG Number: RG-50.677.0003

Irene Greenfeld, born May 2, 1934 in Hungary, discusses growing up in an Orthodox Jewish home; preparing kosher food and celebrating Shabbat; attending a Jewish school; the rise of antisemitism; enduring stone-throwing and being forced to stay at home; learning of the gas chambers in Poland; the deportation of her father in 1942 to do forced labor; her mother's home garden sustaining the family and neighbors; conditions changing when the Germans entered Hungary in March 1944; the closing of the Jewish school and the deportation of the teachers; being sent to the ghetto with her parents; being sent to the brick factory in Debrecen, Hungary in June 1944; being sent to Strasshof concentration camp and the conditions during the journey there; the Ukrainian guards; her mother’s efforts to protect her children in the camp; being marched with her family from Strasshof to a Vienna school building; conditions in the camps, including the food and lice; educating her siblings; being afraid of the guards; hearing antisemitic military songs; her mother’s forced labor at a bread factory; her grandmother's paralysis; her family surviving a direct bomb to the school; being sent to Theresienstadt and finding her aunt briefly; being forced to send false letters to friends and family; witnessing death; a visit by the Red Cross to the camp; liberation by Russian troops; returning to their home and finding out that only six of the 120 Jewish families in their town had survived; reclaiming dispersed furniture; her father’s experiences in Auschwitz; immigrating to the United States in 1948; living in New York, NY and maintaining an Orthodox home; getting married to a Holocaust survival; her thoughts on history repeating itself; rebuilding her life in the US; and her family in the US.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Greenfeld, Irene
Rudof, Joanne W.
Katz, Barbara
interview:  2011 May 11
2 videocassettes (DVCAM) : sound, color ; 1/4 in..
Credit Line
This testimony was recorded through a joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University
Record last modified: 2022-06-24 20:19:18
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