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Oral history interview with Helene Rubin

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2011.177.31 | RG Number: RG-50.677.0031

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    Oral history interview with Helene Rubin


    Interview Summary
    Helene Rubin, born May 16, 1926 in Vișeu de Sus, Romania, discusses being in a family of eight children; her parents; one of her brothers dying as an infant from scarlet fever; growing up in a town that was part of Czechoslovakia during the interwar period; her father’s shop; her family’s thwarted plans to evacuate to Timisoara, Romania; being taken with her family to a ghetto; being deported on a train to Auschwitz when she was 18 years old; the selection process and being separated from her sister and father; the shaving of her head; being placed in Block 31; staying with her sister and aunt the entire time; the frequent selections; the birth of a baby in the camp that was then killed; being transported to Sosnowitz labor camp, where she had to dig ditches; developing a toothache and being taken to a dentist; the songs of faith they used to cope during their imprisonment; speaking about cooking with other prisoners; being marched for five weeks and going to Bergen-Belsen; the fights over food between the prisoners; being assaulted at Bergen-Belsen and the perpetrator apologizing; having lice and getting typhoid; the numerous deaths of inmates; liberation; the deaths of many of the survivors when they were reintroduced to food; being sprayed with DDT for the lice; going with her sister to Sweden; staying in a hospital for four weeks; living in a nursing home; reuniting with their aunt (her aunt discovered that her husband had survived); living in a DP camp and receiving assistance from Rabbi Jacobson; working in Sweden; and immigrating to the United States in 1946. (At the end of the interview Helene sings the melody to a song.)
    Helene Rubin
    Dr. Henri Lustiger Thaler
    interview:  2017 June 08
    Credit Line
    This testimony was recorded through a joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Amud Aish Memorial Museum Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center.

    Physical Details

    2 digital files : MPEG-4.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Topical Term
    Childbirth. Concentration camp inmates--Family relationships. Concentration camp inmates--Medical care. Concentration camp inmates--Religious life. Concentration camp inmates--Selection process. Concentration camps--Psychological aspects. Death march survivors. Death marches. Forced labor. Head shaving--Poland--Oswiecim. Holocaust survivors--Interviews. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. Infanticide--Poland--Oswiecim. Jewish ghettos--Czechoslovakia. Jewish women in the Holocaust. Jews--Czechoslovakia. Lice. Orthodox Judaism. Refugee camps. Scarlatina. Sisters. Starvation. Typhoid fever. Women concentration camp inmates. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Poland. World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Czechoslovakia. World War, 1939-1945--Songs and music. Women--Personal narratives.
    Personal Name
    Rubin, Helene.

    Administrative Notes

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in partnership with the Amud Aish Memorial Museum's Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center, produced the interview with Helene (Chaya) Rubin on June 8, 2017.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:26:22
    This page:

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