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Oral history interview with Jutka Strauss

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.177.7 | RG Number: RG-50.677.0007

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Jutka Strauss, born on October 19, 1924, discusses growing up in pre-war Satu Mare, Hungary (present day Romania); attending public school; enjoying a quiet life in her Hasidic family; her father's disapproval of his wife and daughters reading books; her father's hat store; the deportation of two of her brothers into forced labor in Ukraine; one of her brothers being shot during an attempted escape; being imprisoned with her sister for 10 months after their failed escape to Romania; life in imprisonment; being transferred by cattle car to a ghetto, where they lived for four weeks; arriving in Auschwitz and being stunned by the number of S.S. officers (she had the impression that one of the officers felt sorry for the women); being selected by Dr. Mengele for the crematorium and avoiding it by slipping back into line with her sister; being processed in a holding room; being transported to Riga, Latvia to Dondangen concentration camp; the horrible conditions in the camp and experiencing starvation; being forced to march; going to Germany and doing forced labor in a plane factory; the approach of the Russians and seeing that the German guards were scared; being liberated by American troops; her memories of malnourished survivors getting sick from overeating; going to Budapest, Hungary, and then to her hometown of Satu Mare; discovering that her parents and other brother had not survived; reuniting with her sister; moving with her sister to Romania to join another sister; living in cramped conditions with five other survivors; meeting her husband; immigrating to the United States from Italy; arriving in New York, NY by ship; working in a factory, jewelry business; settling in Brooklyn; meeting a survivor who had jump from a cattle car and was sheltered by a peasant family until the war was over; and some of her family photographs (which she shares during the recording).

Interviewee
Ms. Jutka Strauss
Interviewer
Dr. Henri Lustiger Thaler
Date
2014 May 21  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 digital files : MPEG-4.
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.