Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Ruth Cohen

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.216 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0216

Ruth Cohen (originally Runia Zukerbrot), born in Kraków, Poland in 1920, discusses her childhood years; first experiences with antisemitism; German entry into Kraków and anti-Jewish restrictions; the confiscation of family valuables; learning to be a seamstress; being evicted from their home; the slave labor cleaning streets; entering into the Kraków ghetto in March 1941; the role of the Judenrat; their Ukrainian maid trading their valuables for money and food; forced factory labor; her parents hiding her and her brother during a round-up; her parents' deportation in October 1942; being deported to Płaszów, where she worked in a paper factory; Akiba Tannenbaum and his activities; public executions; pervasive fear of being killed by the Kommandant, Amon Goeth; being taken by train to camp Skarzysko after a year in Płaszów; slave labor in Werke C of a HASAG munitions factory, then a privileged office position; being transferred to Czestochowa; slave labor in another HASAG factory; being transferred to Buchenwald then Bergen-Belsen; starvation and sickness resulting in many deaths; being sent two months later to Burgau; caring for a sick prisoner; being transferred to Türkheim, where she was able to escape; receiving assistance from a villager; liberation by United States troops; reunion with her brother; her illegal immigration to Palestine in 1946; her brief incarceration by the British; and attending university; continuing contact with her family's Ukrainian maid; not sharing her experiences until a trip to Poland and a recurring nightmare that stopped after her trip; and she shares photographs and sings a song from Płaszów.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ms. Ruth Cohen
interview:  1995 August 25
5 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:45:38
This page: