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Oral history interview with Estelle Laughlin

Oral History | Digitized | RG Number: RG-50.999.0715

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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:  2019 August 01
    creation: Washington (D.C.)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    1 digital file : 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.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Primary Number
    IA2000-022, 20190801
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:44:53
    This page:

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