Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Erna Elerat

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.35 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0035

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

Erna Elerat, born September 1920 in Oswiecim, Poland, recounts her large family's affluence; summering in mountain resorts; participating in Betar; Vladimir Jabotinsky staying at their home; antisemitic harassment beginning in 1933; one year of school in Myslowice; one brother serving in the Polish military; German invasion in 1939; fleeing with her family to Przeworsk; her father continuing to the Soviet zone; finding her brother in Kraków (he had been wounded); their return home; her brief arrest with her sister by Soviets in Tarnów en route to find their father; reunion with him in Lʹviv; a brief stay in Rava Ruʹska; returning home; volunteering with a sister, brother, and his wife for work in November 1940; their deportation to Annaberg; her brother's transfer to Auschwitz (her parents received his ashes shortly thereafter); transfer to Ottmuth; her job in the hospital; poisoning herself; her hospitalization in Krapowice; escaping; joining her family in the Sosnowice ghetto; her transfer back to Annaberg; working in the hospital; her transfer six months later to Parschnitz, then to Markstädt, and back to Parschnitz for a year; learning her father had died; arranging for her mother and sisters to join her; separation from them upon transfer to Blechhammer, then Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943; her assignment to the “medical experiment” barracks; caring for Greek women on whom the experiments were done, most of whom died; her transfer to Union factory; working as a translator, then a supervisor; participating in sabotage; assistance from civilian workers and Wehrmacht; a death march and train transfer with her cousin to Ravensbrück; her transfer by herself to Malchow, then Taucha; escaping with others from a death march; a man hiding them until the arrival of Soviet troops; traveling to Sosnowiec; reunion with her mother and sister; joining a brother in Feldafing displaced persons camp; her family joining them; and testifying against a camp official at the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC).

Erna Elerat
1993 March 28  (interview)
7 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Expand all
Record last modified: 2018-03-14 09:15:17
This page: