- Interview Summary
- Dvorah Shifron (née Dosha Shafshewitz), born in Łódź, Poland, describes her father, Israel, who was an a tall, blond, blue-eyed, and quiet intellectual and was a managing accountant in a large plant; her mother, Lena, who was a member of WIZO; her sister; moving to Ozoruk, near Łódź; speaking Polish and Yiddish at home; the German invasion and hiding with her family in a cellar for a few days; her father fleeing to Warsaw and returning after the destruction of Warsaw; the restrictions placed on Jews; moving to the ghetto; the outbreak of typhus and other diseases; her mother being picked for a job because she was fluent in Polish, Russian, and German; being allowed to stay with her mother when her father was deported; witnessing of public hangings; being sent with her mother and sister to the Łódź ghetto; having to work; her mother making shoes while she learned to sew; her mother falling ill and dying; her uncle taking care of she and her sister; being deported to Auschwitz on cattle cars; arriving in the camp and the selections; the children being led to a separate barrack; the suicides in the camp; the Appels (roll calls); being selected for the gas chamber but escaping the line with her sister; being transferred to a labor camp in Germany; conditions in the labor camp; working as a messenger, running errands between offices; being helped by the commandant and the female German guards when she contracted chicken pox; being sent on a death march when the Soviet Army approached; arriving at Bergen-Belsen; getting sick and her sister contracting typhus; feeling they had to survive in order to tell the world; meeting Hadassah Rosensaft; being liberated by the British; being taken to a Kinderheim (orphanage) and being taken of by the Jewish Brigade; attending a school and their social activities; David Ben-Gurion coming to speak with them about going to Palestine; being sent to Blankenese, Germany the Marseille, France; sailing on the Champollion; being greeted by the local children in Alexandria, Egypt; arriving in Haifa, Israel; moving to ‘Atlit then Kiryat Anavim; life in the kibbutz and working in the orchards and fields; her education; being inducted into the army; serving in the signal corps on the front lines during the War of Independence; living in Savyon (suburb south of Tel Aviv); and her mother’s grave in Łódź.
The interviewee shares photographs of her family before the war, the group in Kiryat Anavim, and her mother's grave.
- Dvorah Shifron
- The Honorable Hadassah Rosensaft
1991 October 27
2 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Rights & Restrictions
- Conditions on Access
- There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
- Conditions on Use
- No restrictions on use
Keywords & Subjects
- Topical Term
- Chickenpox. Child concentration camp inmates. Concentration camp guards--Germany. Concentration camp inmates--Selection process. Concentration camp inmates--Suicidal behavior. Death march survivors. Death marches. Forced labor. Hanging--Poland. Holocaust survivors--Israel. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. Israel-Arab War, 1948-1949--Veterans--Israel. Jewish ghettos--Poland--Łódź. Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.--Poland. Jews--Persecutions--Poland. Jews--Poland--Łódź. Refugee children. Roll calls. Typhus fever. Women in combat--Israel. Women soldiers--Israel. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation. World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor. World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Poland. Zionists. Women--Personal narratives.
- Geographic Name
- Alexandria (Egypt) Bergen (Celle, Germany) Blankenese (Hamburg, Germany) Haifa (Israel) Kiryat 'Anavim (Israel) Lower Saxony (Germany) Łódź (Poland) Marseille (France) Oświęcim (Poland) Palestine--Emigration and immigration. Poland--History--Occupation, 1939-1945. Tel Aviv (Israel) ‘Atlit (Israel) World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Poland.
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- Hadassah Rosensaft conducted the interview with Dvorah Shifron on October 27, 1991, as part of a project to document individuals' experiences as children during the Holocaust.
- Special Collection
The Jeff and Toby Herr Oral History Archive
- Record last modified:
- 2023-11-16 08:26:05
- This page:
Also in Hadassah Rosensaft oral history collection
Interviews with 15 Holocaust survivors documenting their experiences as children during the Holocaust.
Date: 1991 October 23-1991 October 29
Chana Birnbaum (née Jacobnson), born in 1930 in Piliza, Poland, describes her six siblings; the beginning of the war; hiding in the forests then a basement with her family; being helped by friends to cross the border into Savjirose; going by train to Zapnovitch; her parents living in the ghetto while she and her siblings went to a transfer camp; her father’s death in Auschwitz; arriving in Brande concentration camp (in Prądy, Opolskie, Poland); being sent to Johannisdorf (Janislawice); the camp closing and being sent to Annaberg then Viletendorf and Hundsfeld; getting diphtheria and being saved by a doctor; being sent to three other camps, including Peterswaldan (possibly Peterswaldau concentration camp); working in a factory of explosives; being sent to Kaffia Grosshausen; being liberated from Peterswaldan; her cousin finding her and taking her to Sopnovitz (possibly Sosnowiec, Poland); finding more family; going to Zehlendorf in Berlin, Germany; going to find her sisters in Bergen-Belsen, where they were being looked after by Mrs. Rosensaft; attending school until she made Aliya in 1946; going to a Kibbutz in Israel and joining her sister later in Tel Aviv; and getting married in 1950.
Rachel Frankowitz (née Magda Herbtz), born in Kosice, Slovakia, describes the German occupation; her family; her father being taken to the army; being taken to a ghetto in 1944; doing forced labor in a brick factory; being taken to Auschwitz in May 20, 1944; being told to say she was 16 years old even though she was 14 at the time; never seeing her family again; witnessing the murder of children who were transported from Theresienstadt; being taken to labor camp near Bremen, Germany; being sent to Bergen-Belsen; being liberated from Bergen-Belsen and falling ill after eating food from the British liberators; typhus in the camp; liberation day; being cared for in a children's ward in a hospital in Celle, Germany; her preparations for immigration to Palestine; going to Palestine via Marseille, France; arriving in Haifa and being transferred to the Atlit detention camp; going to Kibbutz Dorot with other youths and staying there until 1948; joining the Israeli Army in 1948; getting married and her husband’s early death; being a kindergarten teacher and remarrying; living in Kiryat Gat; visiting Bergen-Belsen later in the 1990s; and deciding to share her story.
Miriam Goron (née Margot Friedlander), born in Berlin, Germany in 1931, describes her parents, who were taken away in early 1942 by the Gestapo because they hid Polish Jews; being left with her two younger brother; being taken to a transitional small camp in Berlin with 80 other children; working in assorted jobs; being liberated by the Russians as the war ended; being taken with her brothers by a communist aunt; a friend influencing her to go to Palestine; escaping with her brothers from her aunt and meeting Jewish Brigade soldiers in Berlin who sent them to Bergen-Belsen and Blankenese; going to Palestine and joining Kibbutz Dorot; and the work she has been doing in the kibbutz since then.
Ester Greenberg (née Sandor Erpike), born in Győr, Hungary, describes the German invasion in 1944; being driven out of their homes and being sent to a ghetto; being taken into a brick factory and living in barracks; being taken to the railway station then Auschwitz; being separated from her parents and grandmother; being taken to Lippstadt, to an airplane spare parts factory, where she worked day and night; being liberated during the evacuation of the camp; an American chaplain taking all the children to Belsen, Germany; Israeli soldiers organizing a school and taking classes there; going to Blankenese, Germany then to Marseille, France; going to Atlit, Israel then Kibbutz Dorot; being in the army; and her three sons.
Suzi Hidas (née Schnabel), born in Győr, Hungary (near the Austrian border), describes the large Jewish community of approximately 8000 members; her well-off family; her father’s textile factory; being an only child and having a pleasant childhood; receiving a reformed but good Jewish education by a rabbi in public school; the war breaking out while her parents were in Switzerland; her parents returning home and deciding not to leave Hungary; her father being arrested and taken to a forced labor camp; being taken with her mother to a ghetto; being deported to Auschwitz; being taken with her mother to another camp in Germany near the Dutch border; being liberated by the Americans in 1945; being taken to a kinderheim, in Bergen-Belsen; returning home with her mother and attending school; her father’s death in a labor camp in Austria; getting married and moving with her husband to Israel; getting a job as a chemist at a university; and her son, who is a doctor in Israel.
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.
Jocheved Kasher (née Jadna Kusda), born in 1930 in Łódź, Poland, describes her parents, Chaya and Haimish Kusda, and her two sisters, Sara and Regina; her warm family home; her large extended family and no one surviving; the beginning of the war; three families living in their home; life in the ghetto; her work in the ghetto; her sister getting married and having a child; the transports to Auschwitz and being among the last people to be deported; being sent to Hundsfeld working camp near Breslau (Wroclaw, Poland); working in an ammunitions factory with her sister Regina, who lied about Jocheved’s age; being marched from camp to camp towards the end of the war; being in Gross Rosen, Mauthausen, and finally Bergen-Belsen; her sister contracting typhus and dying five days before liberation; being freed by the British; being taken to Belsen, Germany; meeting friends from her home town and living with them; the Jewish Brigade arriving and organizing a school; taking classes; the Israeli soldiers teaching them Israeli songs and speaking about life in Israel; going to Blankenese (near Hamburg, Germany), where they attended school, ate well, and observed Shabbat; going to Israel, stopping in Marseille, France on the way; arriving in Haifa and being received by Vera Weizman; going to Atlit and then Kiryat Anavim; going to Dorot; the Aliyat Noar; having a difficult time because her family was gone; the War of Independence; joining the army; living in Tel Aviv; not telling her whole story; and the headstone for Regina in Belsen.
Benjamin Lavi (né Bornstein), born April 10, 1930 in Łódź, Poland, describes his parents, Moshe and Bronya; his father’s candle making factory and his mother’s work as a nurse; living a middle-class life; his extended family; the German occupation and the gradual persecution and restrictions; the sealing of the ghetto; hiding with his grandparents during a deportation of the young and old; being taken to a prison camp and loaded on a train to Auschwitz; the selections and passing as older than his real age; being taken with his father to work in Germany in a tire factory; being moved to Hannover to work in a tank production plant; the slave labor and the horrible conditions; being marched out of the camp in April 1945; escaping with other youths and returning to the abandoned camp after nightfall; the German Red Cross arriving and then German soldiers, who were ordered to execute all the survivors; being loaded on trucks then abandoned in Hannover in front of a French prisoners camp; being helped by the French; the US Army arriving and providing them with care; his father being hospitalized and dying on May 6; his mother’s survival of Bergen-Belsen, where she worked in a hospital, and finding him in Hannover; returning to Belsen with his mother; joining the 'kinderheim' (an orphanage); the assistance of the Jewish Brigade and the American Joint; being moved to Hamburg; going to france in 1946 and sailing on the Champolion to Palestine; going to Atlit for four days then Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim; his first experience with socialism; their first Sabbath in the kibbutz; joining the Palmach in 1948; and being a grandfather and living in Haifa.
Chaim Liss, born March 25, 1930 in Łódź, Poland, describes his parents’ confectionary store named Bonita; attending school; the war breaking out; being put in the ghetto; being sent to Auschwitz in August 1944; the selections; being sent to Birkenau with his father; joining a group going to Hannover, Germany; working in a tire factory (possibly Hannover-Stöcken concentration camp); being sent to Stenigraten, where the Germans wanted to build a factory inside the cliffs; the work removing stones and his father’s death from malnutrition; the evacuation of the camp and being left for dead; the Americans arriving after two days; being cared for by the Americans; walking to Celle, Germany then Bergen-Belsen; going to the Kinderheim (an orphanage); arguing with the Jewish Brigade over his desire to go to Israel via England; being taken to England by the Canadian Air Force in October 1945; being housed with a group of 700; suffering from tuberculosis; studying electrical engineering; being a Mohel Volunteer and going to Israel in October 1948; the children he met in England; working for Israeli Aircraft Industries; his wife and sons; and his general thoughts on his Holocaust experience.
Joseph Ribo, born in a small town in Poland in 1932, describes being one of five children; his father, who was in the lumber business and his mother, who was a housewife and grew fruit to sell in the village market; the German invasion; his father being taken away and returning a year later; being put in a ghetto with all the other Jews; being taken to the Kosienice ghetto in 1942; living under terrible conditions with little food; how his father sneaked out at night from the ghetto to sell clothes for food in the villages and bringing Joseph or his brother on occasion; staying in the village one night upon his father’s suggestion; the liquidation of the ghetto soon after and the deportation of his family; hiding with Polish peasants until it became too dangerous; working in a nearby ammunitions factory that had Poles and Jews workers; the dismantling of the factory as the Russian Army approached and the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz; being among the 300 people left behind to clean up the camp and factory; being marched to Oranienburg, Germany; being among the freed German political prisoners; going to Hamburg, Germany and finding that the war was over; going to the Kinderheim (an orphanage) in Bergen-Belsen; being taken with other children to England in 1945; going to Israel in 1948; his wife and four children; and working in personnel management.
Edith Riemer, born in 1930 in Berlin, Germany, describes her family; living in a building where the Nazi party had offices; the Nazi offices being burgled and her father being interrogated; her family’s decision to leave Berlin; going to Upper Silesia, Poland; attending a Jewish school; Jewish refugees coming to the town after Kristallnacht in 1938 and her father’s decision to move them further east; going with her mother to Rava-Ruska, Ukraine; her father being taken by the Russians and never seeing him again; going with her mother to Krakow, Poland and staying with family; the searching of Jewish homes on Christmas day 1939; moving to the ghetto of Tarnow, Poland; escaping with her mother to Dukla, where her grandparents lived; hiding with her grandmother in the basement during the Aktions; being helped by an SS man, who was stationed in their house; the massacre of all the Jews in Dukla in the nearby forest; being taken by the SS man to the ghetto in Tarnow to be with her aunt; life in the ghetto; being taken by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau; being selected for the gas chamber but hiding; being found and beaten; being taken by train to Gross-Rosen to work in an airplane parts factory; being moved from camp to camp, including Buchenwald and Mauthausen; being sent on a death march to Bergen-Belsen when she was 15 years old; being liberated by the British Army; how after liberation many of the surviving inmates got sick and died from eating food they were not used to; going to the Kinderheim (orphanage) in Bergen-Belsen and then in Blankenese, Germany; going to Israel in April 1946 on the ship, Champollion; being taken to Atlit; being taken to Kibbutz Dorot and later to her uncle; going into the army; and getting married and having children and grandchildren.
Zahavah Shamir (née Genia Rotenberg), born 1930 in Łódź, Poland, describes her father Zvi Hersh; her brother; the mood in Łódź; the German invasion and not being allowed to attend school; his grandfather being taken and tortured; her grandparents taking her brother and crossing the border into Russia; moving to Warsaw, Poland with her parents; seeing dead bodies in the streets; the hunger and diseases in the ghetto; escaping with two friends and staying with her family’s friends outside the ghetto; being treated badly; seeing the Warsaw uprising; going to the ghetto to find her family; her family escaping to Piotkvo; her mother disappearing when she went out to get food one day and her death in October 1942; working in the ghetto as a carpenter for a firm (Dietrich and Fisher); her father being sent to the men’s camp in Ravensbrück; dressing up as a man and going with her father; hiding in bed when the men went out to work; working in the kitchen; being transported to Bergen-Belsen; meeting Hadassah Rosensaft, who took her to the children's house; the end of the war and the arrival of the Jewish Brigade; her mixed emotions; being taken to a Kinderheim (orphanage); her father’s arrival; being taken to Blankenese, Germany; their education and social life; going to Israel on the Champollion; living in Kiryat Anavim; her education and work; her father arriving in 1946; the War of Independence; attending nursing school and working in a hospital; her father testifying in Germany; getting married to a Sabra in 1951; and her three children.
Dvorah Shapiro (née Haike), born in Łódź, Poland, describes her parents and younger brother, all of who died in Auschwitz; living in the Łódź ghetto until the end of 1944; being sent to Auschwitz at end of 1944; being transferred in February 1945 to Ravensbrück; being sent to Mauthausen then Bergen-Belsen; being liberated and sent to Diepholz, Germany to a children's home; being sent to a children’s home in Bergen-Belsen then Blankenese, Germany; going to Israel and then to her aunt and uncle; attending a clerical school and getting married at age 19; her three sons; her initial impressions of Auschwitz and her two weeks in Ravensbrück; working in the kitchen at one of the camps; starvation in the Łódź ghetto; and the photographs her uncle gave her of her family.
Hanka Turner, born in 1928, describes being one of five children; living in Bendzin (Bedzin), Poland; spending a long time in the ghetto; her father being taken away first; being taken with her mother and siblings to Auschwitz; being separated from her mother; remaining with her oldest sister for one year; contracting typhoid; working in commando Steiber; marching for six weeks to Ravensbrück; undergoing an operation and being in the hospital for two weeks; being sent to Bergen-Belsen; liberation; being taken to children's home, first in Bergen, then in Blankensee; going to Israel with Hadana; arriving in Atlit; the group of children separating and one group going to Kiryat Anavim while the others went to Dorot; spending one year in Dorot; going to a city and getting married in 1948; her two daughters; her five grandchildren; living in Tel Aviv; and her contact with friends from the children's home.