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Oral history interview with Estelle Laughlin

Oral History | Digitized | RG Number: RG-50.999.0525

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    Oral history interview with Estelle Laughlin


    Interview Summary
    Estelle Laughlin (née Wakszlak), born on July 9, 1929 in Warsaw, Poland, discusses her parents Michla and Samek; her older sister Freda (born January 1928); the jewelry shop her father operated; attending a local public school; the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, and the siege on Warsaw beginning one week later; the German occupation and not being allowed to attend school; the establishment of a ghetto in October 1940 and being forced with other Jews to live in the ghetto; the conditions in the ghetto; the massive deportations of Jews to Treblinka from July to September 1942; hiding in a secret room with her family during the deportations; her father’s efforts in the resistance movement; the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in the spring of 1943 and hiding in a bunker with her family; being discovered in the bunker and the deportation of her family to Majdanek; being selected for forced labor along with her mother and sister; her father’s death in the gas chamber; her sister being badly beaten and placed on a list that she and her mother thought was a gas chamber list; their decision to switch places with two other women so they could be on the same list with Freda; being sent together to Skarzysko concentration camp to work in a munitions factory and later to camp Czestochowa; being liberation by Soviet forces from Czestochowa in January 1945; moving with her mother and sister to Bavaria, Germany in August 1945 and living there until 1947; immigrating as a family to the United States; and joining two of Estelle’s aunts and an uncle in New York City.
    Estelle Laughlin
    interview:  2015 July 01
    creation: Washington (D.C.)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    3 digital files : MP4.

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Laughlin, Estelle.

    Administrative Notes

    This is an interview conducted for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's First Person Program, a seasonal program that enables USHMM visitors to hear Holocaust survivors tell their life stories in their own words.
    Primary Number
    IA2000-022, 20150701
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:43:56
    This page:

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