Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Helena Leefsma

Oral History | Accession Number: 2000.91.35 | RG Number: RG-50.493.0035

Helena Leefsma (m. Van Hasselt), born on June 27, 1928 in Groningen, Netherlands, discusses being the youngest of four daughters; her father’s work trading cattle; having a very loving family and happy childhood; living in a very friendly community; the German invasion of Holland in May 1940; their friends who got papers to go to the United States before the Germans invaded; her father’s reluctance to leave Holland because of his business and family (they didn’t think Holland would experience what was taking place in Germany); the restrictions placed on Jews; her father boarding up their windows every evening because rocks were thrown at them; the arrest of her father in May 1942 and never seeing him again (he perished in Auschwitz); her oldest sister Selma, who was part of the resistance and urged their family to go into hiding in August 1942; staying with her mother throughout the war as they hid in many homes in Holland; the arrest of Selma in 1943 (she died in 1943 in Buchenwald); the death of her sister Henrietta in 1943; being liberated May 5, 1945; returning with her mother to their home in Groningen; getting married in 1948; and immigrating to the United States in December 1974.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Leefsma, Helena
Prystowsky, Dr. Richard J.
interview:  1993 February 07
2 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Record last modified: 2022-06-23 09:54:50
This page: