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Oral history interview with Eugenia Unger

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2015.269.1 | RG Number: RG-50.874.0001

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    Oral history interview with Eugenia Unger


    Interview Summary
    Eugenia Unger (née Genia Rotstein), born on March 30, 1926 in Warsaw, Poland, describes her siblings Ignatz, David, and Renia; being the youngest; her extended family; her father Ruzha, who was the director of a slaughter house; learning about Judaism from her grandparents; her parents thoughts about Germany before the war; life at the beginning of the war; her family’s decision to live near the Vistula; the rationing coupons; having to wear the Star of David; the establishment of the ghetto; the German factories Többens and Schultz, which allowed Jews to work; the imprisonment of her brothers; the high death rate and seeing piles of bodies; bringing her brothers supplies when she heard they would be deported; the fates of her brothers and father; the deaths of two of her young cousins; hiding half a block from the plaza where the transports were taking place and seeing Janus Korczak; witnessing executions; working in the brush factory in the ghetto; her opinions about the Judenrat and the Jewish Police; the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto; education in the ghetto; the young women who were taken in as prostitutes for the Nazis; being transported with her mother to Majdanek, where she stayed for about three months; being sent with her mother to Auschwitz-Birkenau; receiving help from a man named Villy Goldstein, who had been at Birkenau already for two years; working in a grenade factory for a year and a half; conditions in the camp; how they dealt with pestilence; surviving typhoid fever; her mother working in the shoes workshop; volunteering to work as a mechanic even though she had no training; being spared from the gas chamber by someone in the Sonderkommando; refusing to escape when it was suggested to her because she wanted to keep her mother safe; Mengele’s experiments; going on a death march as the Russians approached; liberation and dealing with Russian soldiers; going with a Zionist youth group to immigrate to Israel; going through Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Austria to the Italian mountains; meeting her future husband and being four months pregnant when they arrived in Bolzano, Italy; going to Modena, Italy; going to Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy, where her son survived tuberculosis; receiving support from UNWRA; going to Paris, France and then Le Havre, France; staying in Italy for over three years; going to South America to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and then Asuncion, Paraguay; going to Rosario, Argentina; her religious beliefs; suffering from survivor’s guilt; her life in Argentina; and the Jewish community in Argentina.
    Eugenia Unger
    Hernan Lopez
    interview:  2011-2012
    creation: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Hernan Lopez

    Physical Details

    16 digital files : MP3.

    Rights & Restrictions

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    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Unger, Eugenia, 1926-

    Administrative Notes

    Hernan Lopez donated the oral history interview with Eugenia Unger to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Branch in March 2015. The interview was conducted by Hernan Lopez in 2011 and 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the book "Eugenia coraje: una historia de vida, memoria y militancia."
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:34:44
    This page:

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