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Oral history interview with Deborah Freund

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2011.177.5 | RG Number: RG-50.677.0005

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    Oral history interview with Deborah Freund


    Interview Summary
    Deborah Freund, born on August 16, 1926 in Satu Mare, Romania, describes growing up Orthodox; being the youngest of four sisters and two brothers; the deportation of both her brothers to labor camps (one went to Ukraine); her childhood before the war; attending public school and being allowed to be observant; the Hungarian takeover in 1942; her family's disbelief when Polish refugees reported death camps circa 1944; experiencing the rise of antisemitism (Jewish store closings, fear of entering street, enduring name callings); her mother's severe weight loss following the deportation of her son; obtaining false Christian papers, which were ignored; being arrested with her family and sent to a ghetto; spending two to three weeks in Auschwitz; enduring several labor camps (including Danzig and Stuffhof); being treated like animals; enduring belt whippings by "Max and Barbara" (who were later hanged together); receiving only daily cabbage soup; doing forced labor in an airplane factory in Leipzig, Germany (probably the HASAG Leipzig camp); the bombing of the camp; being sent on a forced march for one week; liberation and going to Bucharest, Romania; reunification with her surviving family in Satu Mare (one brother did not return and her other brother was shot following an attempted escape); the few children in town; getting married in 1946; resuming her religious life; going to Cyprus in 1947 and the birth of her daughter when war was breaking out; moving to Israel in 1949; her surprise when she find out her in brother-in-law survived following his imprisonment for stealing potatoes in Kazakhstan; immigrating to Canada; the birth of her son in 1957; moving to New York, NY; her nine grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren; an artifact she has from her childhood home that survived the Nazi invasion; and visiting Romania.
    Ms. Deborah Freund
    Dr. Henri Lustiger Thaler
    interview:  2014 May 21
    Credit Line
    This testimony was recorded through a joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Amud Aish Memorial Museum Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center.

    Physical Details

    3 digital files : MPEG-4.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Topical Term
    Antisemitism--Romania. Bombing, Aerial--Germany--Leipzig. Death march survivors. Death marches. Holocaust survivors--Interviews. Holocaust survivors--Israel. Holocaust survivors--Religious life. Holocaust survivors--United States. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives. Hungarians--Romania. Identification cards--Forgeries. Jewish families--Romania--Satu Mare (Satu Mare) Jewish ghettos--Romania--Satu Mare (Satu Mare) Jewish refugees--Romania. Jewish women in the Holocaust. Jews--Identity. Jews--Persecutions--Romania. Jews--Romania--Satu Mare (Satu Mare) Orthodox Judaism. Women concentration camp guards. Women concentration camp inmates. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Poland--Gdansk. World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor. World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Romania. World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Romania. Women--Personal narratives.
    Personal Name
    Freund, Deborah.

    Administrative Notes

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in partnership with the Amud Aish Memorial Museum's Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center, produced the interview with Deborah Freund on May 21, 2014.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:26:12
    This page:

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