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Oral history interview with Helen Wieder Fronda Bergman

Oral History | Accession Number: 2017.553.2 | RG Number: RG-50.998.0002

Helen Wieder, born on April 10, 1929 in Călinești in Maramureș County, Romania, describes being the oldest of six siblings; her father Herman Wieder, who was a blacksmith and mechanic and had his own forge; her mother Dora Dikker, who was a housewife; the northern part of Transylvania becoming Hungarian in August 1940; her father being called into the Hungarian army in 1940 (she assumes he was part of one of the labor battalions); her family's economic difficulties; learning to weave rugs from a Christian neighbor in order to sell carpets and support the family (this Christian neighbor offered to hide her when Helen's family was going to be deported, but Helen did not want to stay without her family); the Jewish religious practices in her household; the numerous Jewish families living in their area; antisemitism expressed by some of the Christians in the town; the deportation of Jewish residents in May 1944; arriving in Auschwitz at age 13 and being separated from her mother and her sisters; never seeing them again; going to a work camp, where she worked in an ammunition factory; her memories of liberation from Bergen-Belsen in April 1945; remaining in the camp until the first week of July 1945; arriving on July 8, 1945 by ship ( "Rönnskär") from Lübeck to Malmö, Sweden; being one of 10,000 refugees that Sweden accepted to receive; being quarantined and then convalescing in a sanatorium; going to Västerås, where she got work at ASEA (Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget) in the workshop; not receiving further education; getting married to Raffaele Fronda, who was from Italy; not knowing any Jewish families who lived in Västerås before the survivors arrived; the survivors founding the Jewish association in Västerås; and not practicing Judaism since she moved to Sweden because she felt she needed her family to do so.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Helen Wieder Fronda Bergman
Carolyn Östberg
interview:  2017 March 13
creation: Västerås (Sweden)
1 digital file : MP4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 19:51:55
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