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Oral history interview with Rachel Bielicka Gurdus

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0182 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0400

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

Rachel Bielicka Gurdus, born in December 1922 in Vilnius, Lithuania, describes her family and their traditional religious practices; her father’s business running a mill; the pressures of antisemitism in Poland; her family considering themselves Jewish and not Polish; learning Russian after the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939; accepting refugees into her home after the war started; the Russians taking away land and sending some Jews to Siberia; moving into the Vilnius ghetto and working for the Judenrat; the transfer of her father and brother-in-law to a work camp; organizing groups to garden and procure food in the ghetto; making connections with friends who had jobs in the ghetto; fighting the Nazi and Lithuanian guards through a ghetto resistance organization; the ghetto’s liquidation and her attempts to hide in and escape from the ghetto; partisan activities in the forests; her transfer to a camp outside of Riga; working in a linen factory and having to sing for the soldiers at her camp; her transfer to Strassenhof and then Stutthof; keeping herself clean and finding food in the camps; the evacuation of Stutthof through the forests; the arrival of Allied tanks, who liberated, fed, and housed her and the other inmates; the difficulties of traveling after the war because she did not have any documents; receiving medical treatment and reuniting with her family; and her immigration to the United States in 1976.

Interviewee
Rachel B. Gurdus
Interviewer
Katie Davis
Date
1999 August 16  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
5 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:16:02
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507289