Oral history interview with Helen Borenstein
Helen Borenstein (née Hela Kronenberg), born on December 10, 1923 in Łódź, Poland, discusses growing up in a well-to-do family and having a wonderful childhood; her father’s work in the iron business; attending a Jewish private school along with her three sisters; their family vacations in the mountains; rumors of war in 1939; the German invasion on September 1, 1939 and the occupation of Łódź; being deported with her family in a cattle car to a little town in the south of Poland, where they lived in a house with another family; their move to live with her aunt; the spread of typhoid fever; falling ill and going to the hospital; her family’s recovery from the disease and moving into a house her father purchased; the arrival of the Germans and being forced into a ghetto; her making uniforms for the German officers; the liquidation of the ghetto; being saved from deportation to Treblinka by her sister’s boyfriend who was a Jewish policeman; getting a job at a factory; going to an outside labor camp in the early spring of 1942; the fear in the camp; sneaking out of the barracks with a friend and being beaten when they returned; being sent to Bergen-Belsen; escaping from Bergen-Belsen and blending in with a group of Polish people in the ghetto; living in the ghetto undetected; getting a job in a peat factory with her sisters; meeting her future husband at the factory; the liquidation of the ghetto and the transportation of her family to Natzweiler concentration camp; being transported to Majdanek; the crematory in Majdanek; being moved to Brünnlitz concentration camp; working in a quarry; being sent to Auschwitz; being tattooed with a prisoner number and being forced to have her head shaved; volunteering for a transport that was predominantly full of Hungarians and ended in Mühlhausen, Germany; working in the Black Forest; tap dancing for the German soldiers; being liberated by English soldiers; going to Stuttgart displaced persons camp; getting married; immigrating to the United States in 1948; life in the US; and her message to younger generations to respect their parents and teachers.
Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
- Ms. Helen Kronenberg Borenstein
- Ms. Avery Rosh
2013 December 26
1 sound recording : M4A.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Avery Rosh
Record last modified: 2020-09-14 12:12:45
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn619115
Also in Oral history interviews of the Avery Rosh collection
Oral history interviews with Holocaust survivors, American servicemen, and European and American witnesses to World War II