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Oral history interview with Hilda Prooth

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0087.39 | RG Number: RG-50.091.0039

Hilda Prooth, born in Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic) in 1904, describes her father, who was a painter and chose to become a Czech citizen after WWI; having three brothers and two sisters; the fates of her siblings, some of whom died in concentration camps; going to Prague, Czech Republic to earn a living as a governess; teaching German to Czech children; becoming a seamstress after the German occupation; meeting her husband, Mike, in 1939 in the Jewish community and getting married in 1940; coming under the protection of the Swedish government after she was married to Mike, who was Russian; being deported to Theresienstadt in 1943; being considered a Russian internee; being sent to Prague in 1944 then by train through Austria to an internment camp in Vittel, France; being liberated by the French in March 1945; being evacuated with a group of about 100 internees to the French Alps, to a former resort for asthmatic children; returning to Paris, France in August 1946 to get permission to return to Prague to find her husband; being sent to Epernay, France and traveling for three weeks in cattle cars back to Prague; reuniting with husband in Prague; working in an old printing house while her husband taught at the university; crossing into Germany in 1947; her husband working as an interpreter between the Jews and the Americans in Munich, Germany; waiting for passage to the US in displaced person camps in Bremen and Hamburg; going to Cleveland, OH in 1948; life in Cleveland and her husband’s death in 1960; working in the needle trades at Keller-Kohn and being very active in the ILGWU (International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union); and her reasons for volunteering to be interviewed for the Holocaust Archives Project of the Council of Jewish Women.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Hilda Prooth
Interviewer
Sidney Elsner
Date
interview:  1984 December 27
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