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Oral history interview with Magda Herskowitz

Oral History | Accession Number: 2016.230.1 | RG Number: RG-50.940.0001

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

Madga Herskowitz (née Berkovitz), born on June 18, 1924 in Dobricel, Transylvania, describes being one of seven children; her four brothers (Mendel, Moyshe, Mayer, and Tzalel) and her two sisters (Esther-Bayle and Cipe); the death of her father (Herman Berkovitz) when she was one and a half years old; her mother, Chana, and their family store, land, and mill; the beginning of the war; being taken to the ghetto in Dej, where they stayed for four weeks before being sent to Auschwitz; the journey to Auschwitz and being separated from her mother when she arrived in the camp; never seeing her mother again; going to the showers and having her hair shaved; their camp clothes; the toilets in the camp; living with 500 other women; finding out her mother had been killed; doing forced labor; rations and daily life in the camp; roll calls; going to work when she was sick; being beaten; witnessing the murder of her friend; no longer menstruating; her friend who gave birth in Auschwitz and the death of the infant after eight days from exposure; going through a selection and being sent to Riga, Latvia; being forced to load ships with ammunition; being beaten for dropping a box; suffering from hunger and frost bite; being liberated by the Russian Army; being mocked by the Russians; walking home for three weeks with ten other women; reuniting with her brother Tzalel; getting married to Moshe Herskowitz and settling in Retiav (possibly Reteag, Romania); giving birth to her first daughter (Chana); living in a displaced persons camp in Germany for one year; immigrating to Israel, where they lived in barracks; her husband’s service in the army, after which he become a policeman; having another daughter (Penina); moving to Yad Natan; Chana marrying an American; going to Canada for two and a half years; moving to the US; working in a senior citizens’ home; and her grandchildren.

Interviewee
Magda Herskowitz
Date
1994 January 22  (interview)
Language
Yiddish
English
Extent
2 digital files : MP3.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Robert Fried
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:38:16
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn546130