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Oral history interview with Eugenia Unger

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

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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Unger, Eugenia
Lopez, Hernan
interview:  2011-2012
creation: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
16 digital files : MP3.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Hernan Lopez
Record last modified: 2022-06-16 10:16:47
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