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Oral history interview with Regine Donner

Oral History | Accession Number: 2002.43 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0465

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Regine Donner, born in 1928 in Poland, describes moving to Antwerp, Belgium as a child; her involvement in Ha-Shomer ha-Tsa'ir; encountering antisemitism in school; the German invasion of Belgium and her family's failed attempt to flee to France; attending an agricultural school and receiving a summons to the Malines concentration camp; meeting a man on the train to Malines who encouraged her to escape; her attempt to reach Switzerland with four other young Jewish refugees but being turned away; the train journey back to Belgium when she and the other teenagers discussed committing suicide; a woman who overheard their conversation, asked them to follow her off the train, and gave them the names and addresses of people who would help them; going to the house of a dentist in Jodoigne-Souveraine, Belgium and then being sent to hide with a Catholic family in Grez-Doiceau, Belgium; the parish priest who obtained false documents under the name Marie Goossens for her; receiving a letter asking for help from her mother in Paris, France; the journey to Paris to rescue her mother and younger brother; taking them back to Belgium and finding places for them to hide; her conversion to Catholicism; the news of her older sister's arrest and her mother's illness; her mother's last days; her brothers' return from Auschwitz after World War II and her conflict with her family about her conversion; her decision to become a nun; and the eventual reconciliation with her family.

Interviewee
Sister Regine Donner
Interviewer
Joan Ringelheim
Date
2002 April 04  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
11 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..