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Oral history interview with Esther Blatt

Oral History | Accession Number: 1996.A.0586.31 | RG Number: RG-50.407.0031

Esther Blatt, born in 1930 in Romania, discusses her family; being raised Orthodox; growing up on a farm outside of Oradea, Romania; attending school in Oradea; the Jewish community and Jewish traditions she participated in; having to attend a Hungarian school after 1940; speaking Romanian, Hungarian, and Yiddish; the Nazi occupation in 1944 and losing their farm and her father’s distillery; having to wear a star; being moved to the ghetto in May 1944; living in a brick factory; staying in the ghetto for two weeks and having her 14th birthday in the ghetto; being taken to Auschwitz in cattle cars; the selection process upon arrival; staying in Auschwitz for six months; the Blockälteste (inmates in charge of the barrack) in Auschwitz; being taken with 600 other girls to a bomb factory in Czechoslovakia in October 1944 (probably the Flossenbürg subcamp Hertine located in present day Rtyně v Podkrkonoší, Czech Republic); work and life in the camp; an explosion in the bomb factory and the death of one of the German guards; the lack of work and being sent to the fields to dig holes one day and filling in the holes the next day; continuing her religious observations in the camp; fasting on Yom Kippur and deciding to never fast again after someone stole her bread; no longer being religious; her awareness of time in the camp; seeing the Allied planes fly over; being taken to Theresienstadt, where she stayed for two weeks before being liberated; going to Budapest, Hungary; returning to Oradea for three months; living on Mizrachi kibbutz near Rome, Italy with her cousins for over three years; getting married in 1948; deciding to immigrate to Australia; and the difficulty adjusting to life in Australia and feeling ostracized by many Australians.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Blatt, Esther
Goodwach, Raie
interview:  1996 February 27
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2022-06-23 09:48:04
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