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Oral history interview with Rita Herdan

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.294.38 | RG Number: RG-50.693.0038

Rita Herdan (née Rujel Leie), born on June 1, 1921 in Czernowitz, Bukovina, Romania (Chernivtsi, Ukraine), describes her Austrian parents; speaking German at home; attending a German school and later a Romanian school; experiencing antisemitism even before the war; her family’s many non-Jewish friends; living very well, in a beautiful house with a garden and fruit trees; wanting to attend college during the Soviet occupation and her father preventing her; her brother’s conscription into the army when the war started; the evacuation of people from Czernowitz; being sent to the ghetto; her mother giving all her belongings to neighbors for safe keeping and their refusal to return them; her father bribing an official so they could return to Czernowitz; how their house had been emptied; being helped by German and Romanian friends; her father working in a polyclinic; being afraid of the Russians; being forced to chop trees; the Russians sending people to the Urals to work; her father hiding her in the polyclinic; escaping Czernowitz; trying to get to the Joint in Bucharest, Romania to unite with her brother; her brother’s pursuit of a career in art; working in Bucharest as a secretary and tutoring the daughter of the German kitchen worker of the Joint in exchange for food; reuniting with her parents in Bucharest after the war; her parents obtaining a visa for her to go to Chile; the six month voyage, including a sojourn of three months in Paris, France; managing to bring her parents and brother to Chile; and her life in Chile.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Herdan, Rita
Revesz, Taryn
interview:  2011 November 14
Oral histories.
1 digital file : MOV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Fundación Memoria Viva
Record last modified: 2022-06-16 10:13:19
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