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Oral history interview with Rosalie Wattenberg

Oral History | Accession Number: 2000.91.3 | RG Number: RG-50.493.0003

Rosalie Wattenberg (née Rosalie Fromer), born in 1919 in Warsaw, Poland, describes her family and childhood in a large Jewish community in Warsaw; her father’s work in the leather business; her oldest brother who was a doctor; her middle brother who immigrated to the United States in 1936; her youngest brother who taught in beauty colleges; her youngest sister Helen who was born in 1923 (see RG-50.493.0003); antisemitism in Poland before WWII; the Nazis occupying the city in September 1939, and forming a ghetto; her grand-uncle and grand-aunt moving during the war and both dying of starvation within three months of each other (her grand-uncle was 86 years old when he died); marrying her husband on December 25, 1939; developing spotted typhus and her temperature rising to 105 degrees; getting pregnant at age 22 while in a camp (circa 1941); escaping the camp, going to a gynecologist and having a live abortion without any medication because she would have been killed if she had the child; her father-in-law being shot when the liquidation began; hiding in the Mila 18 bunker in Warsaw while people were grabbed in the street; developing pneumonia; going to a camp with her husband; being taken on trucks to the Warsaw Umschlagplatz (a detention and transfer camp for Jews near the ghetto); being sent to Flugplatz labor camp in Lublin, Poland, and staying there for eight weeks; walking to the Majdanek death camp, where she met two of her husband’s sisters with their children, after which she never saw them again; being given clothes that had lice; she and her sister Helen being sent to Skarzysko ammunition factory then being evacuated from Skarzysko and sent to another factory when the allies were closing in; going to Ravensbrück concentration camp for approximately four weeks then to Burgao, Turkheim, and Dachau just before it was liberated in April 29, 1945; weighing only 60 pounds at liberation; and moving with her sister and their families to the US on April 10, 1948.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Rosalie Wattenberg
Interviewer
Howard A. Rosenberg
Date
interview:  1992 May 14
Language
English
Extent
2 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
 
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:51:50
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511982