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Oral history interview with Hela Jaffe

Oral History | Accession Number: 1991.A.0110.6 | RG Number: RG-50.266.0006

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

Hela Jaffe, born in Warsaw, Poland in 1923, describes being one of nine children; her father, who was an art and furniture merchant; the war breaking out when the family was on vacationing nearby; returning home to Warsaw to a destroyed house; her father’s business being put under the name of a Polish acquaintance who gave them a full account of the transactions and the money; moving into the “small” ghetto in Warsaw in 1941; sneaking out of the ghetto; working for Többens in a clothing factory with her two sisters; her sisters being taken to Treblinka; joining her parents and brothers in another part of the ghetto; her father and two brothers being sent to Treblinka; staying with her mother and brother until the uprising; preparing a bunker on the roof of the house; the burning of the ghetto and congregating in the square; being put in cattle cars and sent to Poniatowa concentration camp; working in a branch of Többens; her mother and brother working outside; being sent to a work camp in Biala Podlaska with her mother; being sent to Majdanek; the bombing in the camp and being marched to Auschwitz; the uniforms and crematoria in Auschwitz; being sent to Bergen-Belsen in November 1944; liberation by the British in May 1945; taking care of the 40 orphans in Bergen-Belsen after the war with Mrs. Rosensaft; the children crying because of the cold; the repatriation of many of the children; children being sent through England to Palestine; immigrating to Palestine in 1947; suffering through the war of Liberation; Mrs. Rosensaft bringing children to kibbutz Dorot, Kiryat Anavim and Beit-Shemesh; joining the children; and her decision to have her tattooed concentration number removed.
Photos are shared at the end of the conversation.

Interviewee
Hela Jaffe
Interviewer
The Honorable Hadassah Rosensaft
Date
1991 October 25  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
1 videocassette (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:40:29
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511008