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Oral history interview with Krystyna Budnicka

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1280.2 | RG Number: RG-50.225.0002

Krystyna Budnicka (Hena Kuczer), born on May 8, 1932 in Warsaw, Poland, describes her observant Jewish family of 10; her family life before and during World War II; her family members and their social standing; not being integrated with the Polish population; the outbreak of the war and the first persecutions of Jews, such as cutting off their beards; the treatment of Jews gradually worsening and the first deportations of Jewish men to labor camps; the establishment of the large ghetto, where the living conditions are relatively good and her brothers, the carpenters, made a decent living by building secret shelters for the rich Jews; their forced relocation to the little ghetto and the worse living conditions; the frequent routine deportations and the deportation of two of her brothers; the secret shelter that allowed the majority of her family to survive the deportation period; the change in perception in the Jewish community during 1942; her brothers and the influential Jews starting the construction of a long term shelter, a secret underground bunker; her everyday life in the bunker before and after the Ghetto Uprising as well as during the ghetto fire; the gradually worsening living conditions in the bunker; the extreme sickness of her brother, who was the group leader, and reaching out for help from Poles; the discovery of the bunker and trying to escape via the sewer; her parents together with her sister being left behind; the aid she received from an organized Polish group (possibly Żegota); being moved to various hiding places; the death of her last two brothers in 1943; surviving the Warsaw Uprising alongside the Polish population; ending up in a Christian orphanage, where she is treated kindly, and staying there until she finished high school after the war; acknowledging her Jewish roots, but adopting Christianity as her religion; and devoting her life to working with special needs children.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Krystyna Budnicka
interview:  1994 July
4 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:48:45
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