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Oral history interview with Ruth Elias

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.36 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0036

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    Oral history interview with Ruth Elias


    Interview Summary
    Ruth Elias, born October 1922 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, discusses the entry of the Germans into her town March 14, 1939; her family fleeing to a small village near Brno called Pojojitze until 1942; her happy life in the village; the family being caught and sent to Theresienstadt (Terezin); the meticulous German labeling and numbering system; the history of the city and the conditions in the camp; getting married; working as a nurse to the elderly; the creative activities in the camp, including operas, choirs, and concerts; the Red Cross visit and the false beautification efforts; getting pregnant while she was in Theresienstadt; being sent to Auschwitz then Birkenau B-2 “Familienlager”; conditions in the camp and the mistreatment of women in the camp by SS guards; receiving medical exams; experiencing night blindness due to lack of vitamins; being sent to Ravensbrück after it was discovered that she and her friend, Berta, were pregnant; being sent to the Krankenbau barrack; the sadistic SS female guards in the camp; being sent back to Auschwitz, where they pretended to not be Jewish; learning about Mengele’s experiments and meeting him; giving birth and the eventual death of her baby; being sent with Berta to a work in Germany in Taucha bei Leipzig; working in a munitions factory and later a bakery; the Roma and prisoners of war; finding work outside for extra food; the death march; living in Prague after the war; and her immigration to Israel.
    Ruth Elias
    interview:  1991 September 04
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

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

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Nathan Beyrak conducted the interview with Ruth Elias in Israel on September 4, 1991, 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
    This page:

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