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Oral history interview with Ruth Elias

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

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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Elias, Ruth
interview:  1991 September 04
8 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-06-24 20:18:54
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