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Oral history interview with Estelle Beder

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0087.4 | RG Number: RG-50.091.0004

Estelle Beder, born in Lutsk, Poland (Ukraine), describes her father, who was a tailor, and her mother, who sold hand-made clothes from a covered wagon; her two brothers and one sister; her family struggling financially; the German invasion and the restrictions imposed including curfews and mandatory armbands; the sexual abuse and fear during that time; the creation of a ghetto in 1942 and her family suffering terribly; her father being very ill and still sewing; helping her family by delivering clothes and procuring food; acts of great cruelty to the Jews while in the ghetto; her father being beaten and her brother being killed in public; she and her sister being separated from the family and sent to the Łódź ghetto, where they were treated very poorly; remaining in Łódź until 1944 when they were transported to Auschwitz; the great physical and mental cruelty at Auschwitz; being selected with her sister for death in the gas chambers, but the Germans ran out of their supply of gas; being sent with her sister to work in an ammunition factory for a short period, where they received better treatment; being moved from place to place without reason; passing through Bergen-Belsen and walking on thousands of skeletons, wondering if her family was among them; being selected with her sister to be exchanged for German soldiers in Sweden; enduring a perilous trip to Sweden and being nursed back to some normalcy; her entire family, except her sister, dying during the war; her cousin in the United States arranging for she and her sister to live in New York City; marrying another survivor, Sam Beder; having three sons and moving to Cleveland, OH, where she has enjoyed a peaceful life in a community of other survivors; still suffering from the physical and emotional effects of the Holocaust; and being thankful for her family and her community.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Beder, Estelle
Leizman, Reva
interview:  1984 August 27
3 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland Section
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:12:20
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