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Oral history interview with Hela Jaffe

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

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.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Hela Jaffe
Interviewer
The Honorable Hadassah Rosensaft
Date
interview:  1991 October 25
Language
Hebrew
Extent
1 videocassette (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
 
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:51:05
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511008