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Oral history interview with Betti Frank

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.59 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0059

Betti Frank, born February 20, 1924 into a merchant family in Zutphen, Holland, describes her life before the German invasion of Holland and the invasion itself on May 10, 1940; the Dutch expelling the German-Jewish refugees before the Nazis occupied the town; the Nazis rounding up Jewish men and sending them to Mauthausen; Dutch collaborators informing on her father, who was arrested by Dutch police; her father’s death in Mauthausen; being arrested with her mother and her brother by Dutch police; her brother being sent to Westerbork then to Auschwitz, where he was killed; being taken with her mother to a building owned by the Jewish community (Kehillah), which had been converted into a hospital for older Jews; how all the Jews who did not live in Amsterdam were shipped to Vught concentration camp; turning down a chance to escape with false papers to stay with her mother; the terror tactics used to subdue them and the conditions in Vught; the separate children’s camp and having contact with non-Jewish prisoners; joining a group of Chalutzim; her mother working as a nurse; the Philips company starting a Kommando, manufacturing radio lamps; the SS sending all the workers to Westerbork or Auschwitz; being sent back to Vught by the Wehrmacht because their work was important to the war effort; being transported in June 1944 to Auschwitz at night so that Philips couldn’t stop the deportation; arriving at Auschwitz June 6, 1944 and the processing and conditions; being treated with horrendous cruelty by the Kapos; the Philips workers being taken to a labor camp at Reichenbach (Langenbielau); being taken with 150 survivors to Lanowice concentration camp to work for Philips; the workers being taken on a death march to Trautenau, Sudetenland (Trutnov, Czech Republic) in February 1945; being sent to Porta, Westphalia to work for Philips under brutal conditions along with non-Jewish women; being taken to work in a saltmine near Magdeburg, Germany then to a small camp near Hamburg, Germany to dig trenches near the front; suffering under horrible conditions; an exchange arranged by the Red Cross and Count Folke Bernadotte, which resulted in the group being taken to Malmo, Sweden and to a camp in Goteborg, Sweden; recuperating and returning to Holland briefly; and going to Israel.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Betti Frank
interview:  1991 March 03
1 sound cassette (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:49:41
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