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Oral history interview with Felicia Brenner

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1989.346.8 | RG Number: RG-50.031.0008

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    Oral history interview with Felicia Brenner

    Overview

    Interview Summary
    Felicia Brenner, born on June 18, 1925 in Łódź, Poland, describes being one of seven children from a well-to-do family; her father, who was a businessman and her mother, who stayed home to take care of the children; attending a private Hebrew school, although her education was cut short when the war broke out; being 14 years old when the war began; not experiencing any instances of antisemitism before the Nazis came but seeing the unrest in the Jewish community; her family’s non-Jewish domestic helper leaving their household; being forced to move into the Łódź ghetto with her mother, father, and younger brother; one of her sisters fleeing to Kraków, Poland and two of her brothers going to Białystok, Poland; her job in the ghetto making boots; the scarcity of food; feeling responsible for her parents and trying to bring home extra soup to give to them; the Nazis closing down sections of the ghetto for deportations; her family going to live at her uncle’s house on another street; how one day while waiting in line for vegetables, she saw a sign calling for the liquidation of the ghetto; her younger brother being deported to Buchenwald; the Germans posting signs that they were only taking the young people to work camps, not the old; hiding under a wardrobe because she feared that if she were deported, her parents would starve; coming out of hiding and finding out that her parents had been deported; running to the courtyard and getting on the last cattle car; finding her mother with the help of a German officer and eventually arriving at Auschwitz; her mother being sent to the gas chamber; hearing her father call her and her mother’s names, but never answering him; being in Auschwitz for a short time and then transferred to Bergen-Belsen; the difficult conditions and lack of food; being transferred to Salzwedel, which was liberated around Passover by the Americans; being the only survivor in her family; never returning to Poland because she heard about the murder of Jewish people who were coming back to find family and claim their property; going to Salzheim (Zeilsheim) displaced persons camp; and feeling bitter and losing her faith in humanity and God.
    Interviewee
    Felicia Brenner
    Date
    interview:  1990 July 22
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

    Physical Details

    Language
    English
    Extent
    1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Brenner, Felicia, 1925-

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois (now Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center) conducted the interview with Felicia Brenner on July 22, 1990. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History branch received the tape of the interview from the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois on October 16, 1992.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:07:01
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn507440

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