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Oral history interview with Cypora Gutnic

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1281.15 | RG Number: RG-50.146.0015

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

Cypora Gutnic, born in Poland, discusses her decision to leave Poland because of the antisemitism; immigrating in 1930 to Palestine where she lived on a kibbutz with 100 other people; her life in Palestine; being expelled from Palestine because of her communist activities; going to France to help provide aid for the Spanish Civil War; arriving in France after the war in Spain was over; staying in Paris illegally with a friend; participating in a course for the Red Cross which gave her an identification card and allowed her to stay in the country; the beginning of the war; receiving a card to work and making uniforms for the army; the German invasion; not leaving Paris because she was pregnant; her husband, who was a Romanian refugee, and his detainment in 1940; falling sick during this period and having nowhere to go during the winter of 1941; her efforts to survive with her infant; wearing the yellow star of David; witnessing the first round-ups of the foreign Jews and waiting for the big round-up to come; being stopped July 7, 1943; making arrangements for her infant before she was sent to Drancy; being deported to Auschwitz; going through a selection process upon her arrival in Auschwitz; being taken to Block 10, where human experiments took place; the experiments that took place on her and others that were in this block; being part of a cancer research experiment; being saved by a doctor in the block who operated on her and gave her medicine; the horrors and experiments that took place in Block 10; the anxiety of daily life in Auschwitz under the constant threat of death and waiting for the arrival for the Russians; how on January 18, 1945 the Germans left and the electricity in the camp stopped; cutting through the barbed wires that separated the men’s and women’s camp to find supplies; finding supplies but also many prisoners who were gravely sick; her attempts to help re-establish order with others former inmates; the following week, on January 27, 1945, the Red Army arrived and liberated Auschwitz; being taken to Odessa, Ukraine before making her way back to Marseille, France on May 11, 1945; and embarking on a train to Paris where she was reunited with her friends and her son.

Interviewee
Cypora Gutnic
Date
1989 October 20  (interview)
Language
French
Extent
2 videocassettes (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-10-22 13:00:07
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507948