Rachel F. testimony 1984 [video recording]
Date of Recording22 August 1984
Duration1h 25m 47.0s
SynopsisRachel F. was born in September of 1924 in Skarżysko-Kamienna, Poland. She describes her family and the Jewish community. She describes attending an Orthodox school in the morning and a public school in the afternoon. She explains that her family was very observant and describes their celebrations. She recalls incidents of antisemitism. She recalls encountering German Jews who had fled to Poland. Rachel explains the German anti-Jewish measures initiated immediately upon their invasion of Poland. She describes the ghettoization of her community. She speaks about the role of the Judenrat. She recalls how her father and two younger brothers were sent for forced labour in a munitions factory. She explains how her father encouraged her to volunteer to go to the camp. She speaks of the hard living and working conditions. She describes her transfer to a munitions factory at Częstochowa. She explains the fear of being considered a saboteur when working in the factory and witnessing executions. She recalls learning that the ghetto was liquidated and that many of her family were sent to Treblinka. She describes the transfer by train to Bergen-Belsen. She explains having a sense that Russian troops were approaching by the disorder into which the Germans were falling. She describes the conditions of Bergen-Belsen as the worst in her experience. She describes transfer to Burgau camp where she contracted typhus. She describes surviving a forced march with the help of a friend. She describes transfer to Dachau where she was hospitalized. She recalls liberation by United States troops. She describes receiving aid from the Red Cross and being transferred to Landsberg DP camp. She recalls friendship in the DP camp and meeting her husband. She discusses her faith and religious practices at Landsberg. She describes searching for her family and learning that one younger brother survived. She reflects on her survival. She discusses her family’s immigration to Israel. She discusses immigration to Canada. She discusses her children and her reluctance to share her experiences. Rachel shows photographs.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.