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Oral history interview with Helen Fried

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0087.19 | RG Number: RG-50.091.0019

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

Helen Fried (born circa 1926) describes being the third of ten children in a large, orthodox family in Hust, Czechoslovakia (Khust, Ukraine); the Jewish community of Hust; her mother supporting the family by running a leather store, while her father was a Torah schlar; her grandparents living in an adjoining house and helping to raise the children; her family having good relations with their gentile neighbors; the start of the war and her family losing their store; the Hungarian invasion of Hust; the store being returned to her family under the Hungarian occupation and living a relatively good life; anti-Jewish measures being imposed when the Germans were in control again; the creation of the ghetto in 1943 and the deportation soon after to Auschwitz; her parents, four brothers, and one of her sisters being killed immediately; remaining in Auschwitz with her four sisters until late 1944 when they were sent to work on a farm; being evacuated and forced to march; escaping with her sisters and taking the identity of Polish maids who had worked for the German army; maintaining their identities until liberation but being separated; going to work in a factory with 60 Russian women; being liberated before the official end of the war by Russian soldiers; reuniting with several cousins and her sister in Dobrzyn, Poland; going to Prague, Czech Republic; living in a displaced persons camp in Leipheim, Germany to wait for a visa to the United States; marrying a man she met in Budapest, Hungary; going to the US in 1949; settling in New York, NY; the Joint Distribution Committee helping them find a place to live and a job for her husband; moving to Cleveland, OH; not telling her son about her Holocaust experiences; her feelings about Judaism; the effects of the Holocaust on her life; and her thoughts on why she survived.

Interviewee
Helen Fried
Interviewer
Sally Weinberg
Date
1984 December 20  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
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