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Oral history interview with Helena Manaster

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0095.47 | RG Number: RG-50.163.0047

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

Helena Manaster, born on May 29, 1917 in Lesko, Poland, describes the Russian influence in the area after October 1939; her father losing his business and the family moving to L'viv, Ukraine; doing secretarial work in a Russian office; getting married to a medical student, Norbert Ramer, on September 22, 1940; sitting in a bunker for eight days with her family once the war began in Ukraine in June 1941; the creation of a ghetto in November 1941; her husband being employed by the Germans to fight typhus in Orelec, Poland and accompanying him there; living with Jewish peasants in Orelec; going to Olszanica with 120 other Jews and being released with her husband shortly before the 120 Jews were killed between Olszianica and Ustianowa; returning to Lesko; the first Aktion in the ghetto in July 1942; hiding during the Aktions; going with her husband to Radymno labor camp, where her husband worked as a doctor; the project finishing and getting false ID papers with the name Dobrowolska; being pregnant at the time; passing as non-Jews and going to Sosnica then Przemysl and Krakow to the homes of Polish friends; receiving help from the underground movement; staying in different places every night, separated from her husband for safety; working in the kitchen in a Capuchin monastery, pretending to be the wife of a Polish officer; the birth of her son Tadeusz on October 6, 1943; adopting another infant in November 1943; the baptism of her son; leaving the monastery in June 1944; getting an apartment with her husband in the winter of 1944-1945; the end of the war and hearing that her brother survived; staying in Warsaw, Poland for 10 years and having three more children; going to Vienna, Austria; going to Chicago, IL in December 1968 while her husband stayed in Poland; immigrating to Israel in 1982; and returning to the US in 1988.

Interviewee
Helena Manaster
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
1990 May 06  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 sound cassettes (60 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:51:18
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511508