Oral history interview with Irit Romano
Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
- Irit Cooper
1994 December 01
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Patricia Benezra
Irit Romano Cooper (née Irit Romano), born in Poland in January 1929, describes growing up in a religious Jewish house; her sisters Tova, Etta and Chaya; her grandmother’s strong faith; her relationship with Judaism and disagreeing at the age of 10 with her grandmother's view of religion; the beginning of the war and watching as German soldiers gathered Jewish men and cut the rabbi's beard in the town’s market; losing her faith in god after seeing that incident; being sent by her mother to work for a farmer and moving from one farmer to another; looking for a place to go in the winter and meeting lady named Yedlida who told her to go to the convent over the hill; arriving at the convent and working in the kitchen; her false ID with the name Bulsveta Kovalchik, daughter of Zsofia Kovalchik and an unknown father; life in the convent; her five roommates and passing as a non-Jew; staying in the convent for a year and half; attending Sunday prayers at church and lying during the confession; becoming closer and closer to Christianity; her memories of her father in the ghetto; the anti-Jewish sermon given every week during mass and beginning to believe the minister’s rhetoric; being unaware of events during the war because of the lack of newspapers and radio in the convent; seeing Russian soldiers chase German soldiers near the convent; being confronted by the mother superior about her Jewish identity; her desire to go to Israel and being pressured by her to convert to Christianity; writing to the mother superior when she eventually got to Israel and meeting her again in 1985; her return to Judaism and how the mother superior's pressure to convert pushed her toward Judaism; and her conversation with the mother superior about why she didn’t convert.
Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:39:07
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn513437
Also in Patricia Benezra oral history collection
Oral history interviews conducted by Patricia Benezra of Claudius Communications.
Date: 1994 December 01
Myriam Carmi (née Furmanski), born in 1923 in Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland, describes the Jewish community in Minsk Mazowiecki; attending public schools; participating in Jewish youth organizations; antisemitism and the pogrom in 1936, when a few Jews were killed and others fled to Warsaw, Poland; growing up in a middle class family on Siennicka Street with her parents and five siblings; the arrival of the Germans; the destruction of her family’s house and living with the Friedman family; returning to their house after six months; the formation of the Judenrat (Jewish council) in 1940; the Jewish police; one of her brothers being sent to a work camp near Russia; the creation of the ghetto on Siennicka Street and Nagechna Street; conditions and diseases in the ghetto; sneaking out of the ghetto to sell kosher chickens in Warsaw to support her family; a transport of Jews from Kalisz, Poland moving into the ghetto and hosting the Kava family; the roundup of Jews in September 1942 and hiding with her mother and siblings under the house; going with her father to the Kupernik (a building on Siennicka Street) and being taken daily by the Germans to work sites; her mother staying at the Kupernik with Myriam’s brother (age six) and her two sisters (ages nine and 12); the murder of her brother outside the Kupernik; the deportation of her mother; the deportation of her older brother to a work camp; being sent to work in Warsaw nine days before the Germans massacred 218 Jews from the Kupernik, including her father; staying on Bednarska Street in Warsaw in the home of a Polish friend; struggling to find another hiding place with her sister-in-law Regina Grinshpan; living with a woman and her daughter, Tushka; learning that the Kupernik was burned down by the Germans; working as a maid for Christians in Warsaw; walking with Regina back to Minsk Mazowiecki after the Russians liberated it; and meeting her husband in Minsk Mazowiecki.
Meir Tyrangiel, born circa 1930 in Koluszki, Poland, describes his eight siblings (Mordechai, Moshe, Israel, Mendel, David, Zvi, Pesia, and Chaya); his parents (Shaul Dov and Adela Tyrangiel); growing up in a family that was happy and financially stable; his older brother’s shoe store; his parents’ wood sawing business; being nine years old when the war began; escaping with his family to Brzeziny, Poland, where they stayed with the parents of his older brother’s wife for a week; returning home; being taken in 1940 to a work camp called Chechnov, where he dug trenches; witnessing the murder of fellow workers; wanting to start a revolution against the Germans and being silenced by the other prisoners; escaping with another young man, Itzhak Erlich, to a neutral zone; being captured and send to a prison called “Herbroskapa”; being transferred two weeks later to a prison called “Brygidki” in Lvov, Poland (L’viv, Ukraine), where they were accused of being spies; being moved to a camp, where he stayed for six months amongst political prisoners; being sent to Kamchatka, Russia; working various jobs around Russia; joining an army called “Vandevaslevsky” at the end of 1944; going to Lublin, Poland; learning that his whole family was killed and except for his four-year-old niece Genia (Genowefa “Genia” Ben Ezra or Genevieve Benezra) in Minsk, Belarus; going with the army to Lodz, Poland, where he served until the war was over; failing to win a court battle in Lodz to gain custody of Genia from a Christian (Yashchuk or Jaszczuk) who hid her during the war; moving to France; going to Israel with his wife (Chava Tyrangiel); sending Genia a ticket to visit them in Israel while she was studying in Strassburg, France; the fates of his family members; and writing the names of his family members who perished during the Holocaust on his wife’s grave.