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Oral history interview with Helena Hammershmash

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.61 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0061

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

Helena Hammershmash (née Rosenberg), born in Turka, Ukraine, describes her childhood in a religious, well-to-do family; moving to Czechoslovakia at age 15; joining a Zionist youth group; meeting her future husband in Turka; how the Germans entered Turka in 1941; Ukrainian-led pogroms; Nazi-led Aktions and her interrogation and release by the Gestapo; her escape with her husband and baby to Budapest, Hungary; going with her husband to a refugee camp under assumed identities, passing as non-Jewish Hungarians; being taken to Tokay, Hungary, and subsequently deported from a camp near Yugoslavia in April 1944; her arrival in Auschwitz; conditions in the camp and living in Birkenau in Block 13; the social hierarchy in the camp and the female Kapos; being moved to Auschwitz I; the hanging of some of her friend at the end of 1944; being sent on a death march to Bergen Belsen; getting typhoid fever; being liberated by the British; working as a nurse with the British and later Belgian doctors in the tuberculosis ward; how she hid the evidence she had written down and her poems; being sent by UNRRA to study medicine in Munich, Germany; testifying against the SS in a British military court; meeting up with her husband in Rome, Italy; and their journey to Palestine and life in Israel.

Interviewee
Helena Hammershmash
Date
1991 April 21  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
11 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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Record last modified: 2018-07-11 15:48:38
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn502710