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Oral history interview with Erna Elerat

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

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    Oral history interview with Erna Elerat


    Interview Summary
    Erna Elerat, born September 1920 in Oświęcim, 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
    interview:  1993 March 28
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    7 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..

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    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
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    Administrative Notes

    Nathan Beyrak conducted the interview with Erna Elerat in Israel on March 28, 1993, for the Israel Documentation Project. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the tapes of the interview by transfer from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Dept. in February 1995.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:14:35
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