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Oral history interview with Betty Cana

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.29 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0029

Betty Cana, born November 11, 1919 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, discusses being the youngest of five sisters; her family's orthodoxy; attending public school; antisemitic harassment; attending a Jewish school; participating in a Zionist youth group; one sister's immigration to Palestine in 1936; her father's death; preparing to immigrate to Palestine on a Hechalutz kibbutz in Beverwijk; German invasion; returning to Amsterdam; her marriage; operating a children's kibbutz in Elden with her husband; being arrested in October 1942; being deported to Westerbork; the arrival of her mother and one sister; deportation with her mother and husband to Auschwitz in September 1943; being separated from her mother; volunteering for specious medical experiments by Dr. Claus Clauberg to avoid transfer to Birkenau, where she thought she could not survive; sending food and messages to her husband; a camp official saving him from selections; working in the hospital; leading prayer sessions; encountering the camp Kommandant, Rudolf Höss; public hangings; a death march and train transfer to Bergen-Belsen in January 1945; learning one sister was there; receiving extra food from her; contracting typhus; her sister nursing her; liberation by British troops; assistance from the Red Cross; repatriation to Eindhoven; learning her husband had not survived; hospitalization; her illegal immigration by ship to Palestine via Marseille; interdiction by the British; her brief incarceration; reuniting with her sister; her marriage; adopting two children; losing her religious faith in the camps; the prisoner hierarchy and relations among national groups; and chronic health problems resulting from her experiences.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Bety Cana
interview:  1993 February 05
6 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 13:00:26
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