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Oral history interview with Helene Goodman

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.107 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0107

Helene Goodman (formerly Henia Flint), born in Lódz, Poland in 1913, describes studying piano at the Warsaw Conservatory posing as a non-Jew, and receiving her diploma in 1935; how the German invasion affected Polish Jews; having to move with her family in 1939 to the Lódz ghetto; her father’s death after the Kriminal Polizei (KRIPO) beat him; witnessing Polish-German cooperation and the murder of Jewish orphans in the ghetto; being transported with her mother to Auschwitz in August 1944 when the ghetto was liquidated; surviving a selection while her mother did not; being forced to play the piano at the camp commander’s birthday party; how the commander stabbed her when she was too frightened to play and her wounds were not treated; being put on a transport by a Jewish supervisor and going to Hainichen, Saxony, Germany; working as a slave laborer at Framowerke, an ammunition factory; the living and working conditions and how starvation affected her; the cruelty of the SS supervisor Gertrude Becker; sabotaging the output of her machine; hearing rumors that food was medicated to stop the workers’ menstrual cycle; going on a death march at the end of April 1945, guarded by SS officers who took off their uniforms and fled once they arrived at Theresienstadt; being liberated by the Russian Army on May 9, 1945; being treated by Russian women doctors; American soldiers taking her to a quarantine camp at Landsberg am Lech, Germany, where she tried to recover from the physical and emotional after effects of her experiences; getting married to her first husband, Jacob Gottlieb; living in Regensberg, Germany until they went to the United States; and her personal reflections on the Holocaust.

Interviewee
Helene Goodman
Date
1981 February 23  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of the Holocaust Oral History Archive of Gratz College
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:00:33
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn515626