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Oral history interview with Peska Verolska

Oral History | Accession Number: 1994.A.0051.14 | RG Number: RG-50.308.0014

Peska Verolska describes being in Krakow during October 1939; being a member of the youth organization HaShomer Hatzair led by Hersz Bauminger; her boyfriend Gustek Duitcher, who was also a member of the HaShomer Hatzair; the creation of the ghetto in Krakow in 1941 and the conditions there; sewing to financially support her family; the deportation of two children from her family; the underground activity in the ghetto; Gustek giving her some Aryan paperwork and asking her to meet the leader of the Akiba resistance group, Aharon “Dolek” Liebeskind; her assignments with the underground movement and going to Warsaw and Tarnow; working with Danka Tselmeister and Vushka (Ryvka Kuper Libeskind-Shpiner); being arrested during an assignment in Tarnow; seeing Israel Kanaw, Chella, and Regina in prison; being badly beaten after trying to escape the transport to the prison; being interrogated and asked about Dolek; telling the interrogators that she was a member of the fighting movement but she didn’t know anything about their plans; remaining in the prison for a few weeks before being taken by train to Krakow in January 1943; being taken with two men and four women to Montelupich prison, where she encountered 15 women from the Akiba movement in Chamber 15 of the prison; befriending the women and sing Shabbat songs with them; how when Gusta Dawidson-Draenger came to the prison and began documenting the details of the underground movement; the arrival of her friend Elsa and the Goldwasser sisters in late January; the arrival of Gola, who was arrested for publishing an underground newspaper; singing movement songs with the women; being in charge of dividing the food amongst her prison mates; the arrival of her older sister to the cell and the last two weeks they spent together; the deportations in February and March from the prison and remaining with Gola, Gusta, Vushkayoles, and Seltzer; planning an escape with the women; being taken to Płaszów before she could escape; hearing of her sister’s death in Płaszów; having a difficult time in Płaszów because she was the only survivor from Montelupich and people thought that she was a traitor; having to wear a big yellow badge to indicate that she was in Montelupich prison; being part of the underground movement in Płaszów; being taken to Auschwitz in the fall of 1944; being tattooed on the inside of her forearm; how she and her husband (Lolek) never spoke to their children about the war, because they didn’t want them to grow up hating the Germans or anyone else; returning to Krakow after the war and finding her sister; being interviewed by the historian Josef Wulf about her underground activities during the war; and returning to Montelupich prison to look for Gusta’s notes but not finding anything.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Peska Verolska
Dr. Eli Pfefferkorn
interview:  1987 October 16
5 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
Record last modified: 2022-04-21 07:08:57
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