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Oral history interview with Rose Bour

Oral History | Accession Number: 2007.416.14 | RG Number: RG-50.650.0013

Rose Bour, born in Miskolc, Hungary on July 2, 1919, describes moving to Czechoslovakia when she was 18 months old; her family; how her father moved to the United States when she was very young, leaving his wife and three children; her experiences as a hairdresser before the war; her deportation to and three year imprisonment in Auschwitz; acts of humiliation inflicted upon women in camp; the fleas in the camp; having her hair shaved 12 times while she was in the camp; her mother’s arrival at Auschwitz; witnessing her mother being marched to the gas chamber; her experiences in the barracks; being spared from the gas chamber by Commandant Hess (Höss) in 1944; additional instances in which she was unintentionally spared from death by Nazi hands; her forced labor in the sauna, shaving new prisoners; her experiences bartering hair-coiffing to a female SS officer in exchange for cigarettes and bread; cooking for the officer whose hair she styled; dining with her Kapo; prostitution among prisoners and Polish gentiles; violence inflicted upon women and girls in the camp; her friendship with a camp woman; Dr. Mengele’s attempts to sterilize women; her emphasis on maintaining working friendships with fellow female prisoners in order to help each other survive; and her post-war experience starting a family.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Rose Bour
Joan Ringelheim
interview:  1982 May 25
Oral histories.
1 sound cassette (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joan Ringelheim
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:11:42
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