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Oral history interview with Helen Fagin

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1269.4 | RG Number: RG-50.470.0004

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

Helen Fagin discusses being in her house in Radomsko, Poland when it was bombed on September 1, 1939; living in the Radomsko ghetto until the liquidation in 1942; her parents had already been sent to Treblinka; being with her two sisters until she escaped during a march to the railroad station; staying in the Warsaw ghetto and getting out with Aryan papers; being caught and released back into the ghetto; wandering in western Poland for a period of time; the arrival of the Russians; moving further east; being liberated on February 14, 1945; reuniting with her sisters after a long search and returning to their home town; feeling like they could no longer stay in Poland; not getting their possessions back from friends they had left them with; a group of young Israeli boys who had organized to help survivors and take them to Palestine; travelling through the Carpathian mountains to Czechoslovakia, then to a camp complex in Bratislava (Slovakia), and then to Austria; going to the American zone from the Russian zone; pretending to be Jewish refugees from Greece to pass over to the American zone; taking a boat on the Danube to American sector; living in the Wels displaced persons (DP) camp for a few months; going to Linz, Austria, where the DP camp was full; going to Bad Gastein, Austria administered by UNRRA in the fall of 1945; meeting a kind US soldier in Bad Gastein, Lt Kyle from Dayton Ohio, who brought her a blanket; working in the office because she spoke fluent German; being declared stateless; experiencing a period of feeling empty and depressed; learning English and becoming politicized after she heard the British would not let them into Palestine; her sister’s work at the Bad Gastein hospital; and getting a ticket to travel from Bremerhaven to New York.

Interviewee
Dr. Helen Fagin
Date
1995 February 21  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (D2) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-12-03 12:28:12
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511049