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Oral history interview with Irit Romano

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.409.0003

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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Irit Cooper
Simon Levine
interview:  1994 December 01
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Patricia Benezra
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:52:16
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