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Oral history interview with Nina Kaleska

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1990.A.0333 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0101

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    Oral history interview with Nina Kaleska

    Overview

    Interview Summary
    Nina Kaleska, born on April 11, 1929 in Grodno, Poland (now Hrodna, Belarus), describes having a pleasant childhood; her family not being perceived of as Jewish because of their Aryan looks; experiencing antisemitism among her childhood friends in 1938; joining the Young Pioneers after the Russians invaded in 1939; her father’s imprisonment for three to four months for political reasons; the German invasion in 1941 and the formation of two ghettos in Grodno; the Germans selecting one of her cousins, who was considered an electronics genius, for forced labor but then killing him; peasant families offering to hide her and her sister but rejecting because she did not want to be separated from her family; being deported with her sister to Auschwitz in 1941; the death of her sister three months after they arrived; becoming sick in the camp several times and only being saved because of the help she received from a woman named Martha who worked there; being asked by Dr. Mengele if she was Jewish because she did not look Jewish; having to stand guard while the head of her lager had sex with some of the most beautiful women in the lager; going on a death march and being liberated by Allied forces on May 5, 1945; and her immigration to England and then to the United States with the help of the American Joint Distribution Committee.
    Interviewee
    Ms. Nina Kaleska
    Interviewer
    Linda G. Kuzmack
    Date
    interview:  1990 January 03
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    Language
    English
    Genre/Form
    Oral histories.
    Extent
    2 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 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

    Topical Term
    Child concentration camp inmates. Concentration camp inmates--Medical care--Poland. Concentration camp inmates--Sexual behavior. Death march survivors. Death marches. Forced labor--Belarus. Holocaust survivors--United States. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Belarus--Personal narratives. Homosexuality. Jewish children in the Holocaust--Belarus--Personal narratives. Jewish ghettos--Belarus--Hrodna. Jews--Belarus--Hrodna. Jews--Persecutions--Belarus. Prisoners--Abuse of--Poland. Rape--Poland. Sexual harassment. Women concentration camp guards--Sexual behavior. Women concentration camp inmates--Sexual behavior. Women concentration camp inmates. Women--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation. World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Belarus. World War, 1939-1945--Women. Communist -- Associations, institutions, etc.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    Linda Kuzmack, on behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch, conducted the oral history interview with Nina Kaleska on January 3, 1990.
    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 08:00:45
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn504595

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