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Oral history interview with Peska Verolska

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

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    Oral history interview with Peska Verolska


    Interview Summary
    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.
    Peska Verolska
    Dr. Eli Pfefferkorn
    interview:  1987 October 16
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, United States Holocaust Memorial Council

    Physical Details

    Hebrew Polish
    5 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..

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    Administrative Notes

    The interview with Peska Verolska was conducted on October 16, 1987 by Eli Pfefferkorn for the Krakow Underground Project. The project was coordinated by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in Israel with Holocaust survivors who were members of the Krakow Underground.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:27:04
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