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Oral history interview with Anna Mielczarek

Oral History | Accession Number: 1992.A.0124.90 | RG Number: RG-50.028.0090

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

Anna Ludwiga Mielczarek (née Kuźmin), born on April 3, 1912 in Schodnica, Poland (present-day Skhidnytsia, Ukraine), discusses being the thirteenth child of Dymitr Kuźmin (Ukrainian) and Paulina Chedryk (Polish); how she became a Jehovah’s Witness in her childhood; receiving a Bible from a Brother Kinicki that she kept throughout her whole life and managed to keep hidden in the camps; traveling seven hours daily throughout the countryside to distribute brochures; almost being thrown out of school for her religion; moving to Warsaw, Poland in 1937 with her husband for Jehovah’s Witness missionary work; living in a small community outside of Warsaw with other Witnesses until 1944; hiding Brother Kinicki, targeted by the Nazis, throughout the war; hearing of other Witnesses getting arrested or detained by the Nazis but continuing to do underground missionary work; becoming separated from her husband, young son, and grandmother when the Warsaw Uprising began in August 1944, and not being able to see them before she was sent to the camps; staying at a hotel in Warsaw with other refugees during the duration of the Uprising; being arrested by the Nazis when the Uprising failed, then being packed into a cattle car with 70 others and travelling to Pruszków, Poland, to wait for another transport, but never knowing where one would be sent next; finding other Witnesses and staying together throughout her time in the camps; being transported to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria to await relocation; being sent with other female Witnesses to Ravensbrück concentration camp, Germany, at the end of August 1944 or the beginning of September 1944; feeling hostility for being a Witness from the SS in Ravensbrück, but not hostility among the other inmates; laboring with other Witnesses in the cold, seeing other Witnesses faint or being beaten during work; and being transported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany.

Interviewee
Anna Mielczarek
Interviewer
Robert Buckley
Date
1995 August 01  (interview)
Language
Polish
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..