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Oral history interview with Eva Koepsell

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.338.36 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0036

Eva Koepsell, born in 1944 in Budapest, Hungary, describes her father, who was a physicist, and her mother, who was a social worker (she shows pictures of her family from 1906); how she doesn’t have many memories from the war but learned about her family’s experience later; her mother losing her job in 1941; her father working until he lost his job in 1943 and was taken to a forced-labor camp; her family living in cellars first in the Jewish ghetto; her aunt’s baby dying from lack of food; another aunt being taken in 1944 to Auschwitz, where she survived medical experiments but then could not have children; her mother converting to Catholicism and hiding; her mother leaving her at a Red Cross nursery where many babies were saved; going to the United States in 1947 when she was three and a half years old; her mother being very much affected by the events and her efforts to distance herself from her experience; her father escaping from the forced-labor camp after a few months; her father working as a physicist in the US; living in the Bronx and having relatives in Brooklyn and Queens; moving later on to Buffalo, NY; going to a Catholic school in the Bronx at age 12; learning about her own Jewish background, of which she is proud; her father dying and her mother returning to Hungary to stay with one of her sisters; the importance of telling her story; poems she wrote about the conditions during the war (which she reads); and the importance of recognizing what is going on and that more people should have acted during the war.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Eva Koepsell
Mrs. Toby Back
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2020-08-03 11:26:22
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