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Oral history interview with Elza Friedman and Sofie Tihel

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.22 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0022

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

Sofie Tihel (born in 1911) is the mother of Elza Friedman (born in 1931 in Jassy [Iasi], Romania). Elza describes her happy childhood and studying piano, French, and Hebrew; her father’s small manufacturing business that made bottles and metal accessories; the war coming to Romania in 1941 and the subsequent pogrom by the local population aided by the Nazis, during which about one-half of the Jewish population was killed; her immediate family surviving; the deportation of most of her extended family; the looting of their home; being threatened by drunk soldiers; attending a Jewish school; her father’s business being operated by an appointed gentile and the factory producing goods for the army; being poisoned by a German soldier and being sick for months; conditions in the city; the murder of Jewish men; learning about events from friends with radios or from newspapers by reading between the lines; moving to Bucharest, Romania in 1944 when the Russians were approaching; life between 1945 and 1948; attending a Russian school; studying chemistry at a university; being on the blacklist because her father was considered a bourgeois; having to pay a high tuition and selling her personal belongings to get money; the Russians taking many people to work on a canal between the Danube and the Black Sea, where many died; her father’s death in 1949; her mother marrying a pharmacist in 1958; Elza working as a chemist; her mother and younger sister going to Buffalo, NY in 1966; Elza’s marriage to an engineer, who was not allowed to do proper work because of their planned emigration; her mother helping by sending packages from the United Stated; being helped to leave by an Englishman; arriving in Buffalo in 1971; finding a job at a chemical laboratory at a university; and how people should appreciate their freedom and their won struggles were worth it.

Interviewee
Sofie Tihel
Elza Friedman
Language
English
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:46:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511781