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Oral history interview with Maria Mandel

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2002.369 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0157

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    Oral history interview with Maria Mandel


    Interview Summary
    Maria Myriam Mandel, born 1938 in Czerwinsk, Poland, discusses the assembly of the town's citizens in a square and their deportation; her family's escape through a bakery door; hiding from the Gestapo in granaries, cemeteries, and the woods; her parents’ execution by the Gestapo in 1942; her placement by her parents in a neighbor's home from 1942 to 1947; her new name, Katia Gortak; the kindness of her foster mother and brother; her Catholic education; her antisemitic feelings; the painful loss of her brother and sister who were placed in other families and abandoned; the arrival of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) at the end of the war; reuniting with her uncles in America and France; her shock at learning she was Jewish; her transfer to a Jewish orphanage in Czerwinsk, where she received a Jewish education; her recollections of antisemitism at the war's end; her life in the orphanage from 1947 to 1949; visits by her foster mother; her bitterness when visits ceased; how the JDC changed her birth date from 1938 to 1937 to allow her to travel alone from Poland to France; her arrival in Paris, France; her refusal to join her uncle in America; and her life in Perigueux, France with her paternal uncle and his family.
    Ms. Maria Mandel
    Polly Haas-Hammel
    interview:  2002 October 17

    Physical Details

    1 sound cassette (60 min.).

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Mandel, Maria, 1938-

    Administrative Notes

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch conducted the interview with Maria Mandel on October 17, 2002. The interview was transferred to the Archives Branch in February 2003.
    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 08:12:46
    This page:

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