• Still image from Lola M. Holocaust testimony, April 22, 2013.
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Lola M. testimony 2013 [video recording]

Holocaust Testimony

GenreTestimonies
Object IDLM1304_01_VD
Date of Recording22 April 2013
28 April 2013
05 May 2013

IntervieweeMendelson, Lola
Duration7h 1m 0.0s
LanguageEnglish
SynopsisLola M. was born in Krakow, Poland on December 30, 1931. She describes her family. She explains that she had a very religious upbringing. She recalls attending a school for Jewish girls. She describes the first signs of danger when her family had to hide during a bombing. She explains her family’s decision to leave Krakow. She describes living with her grandmother in Słomniki. She recalls going to Plaszow where two of her siblings worked in the camp kitchens. She describes how her family brought wool machines with them from Krakow and continued to work. She describes the German occupation of Słomniki. She describes how her sister was denounced on the streets of Krakow and arrested. Her family received a postcard from the sister in Auschwitz. She describes how her family hid the attic of a Polish friend during the liquidation of Słomniki. She describes how she left with two brothers to return to Krakow. She describes how a family friend helped to smuggle them into Plaszlow. She explains that most of her family were already there working. She describes how her mother died during a typhus epidemic and how she fell ill afterward. She recalls how an SS guard killed her eldest brother. She describes being moved from one barrack to another. She recalls that her younger sister was selected from the group and later killed. She describes being transferred for forced labour. She describes her poor physical condition at this time. She describes being transferred by train to Leipzig camp. She describes forced showers and the fear that they would be gassed. She recalls receiving punishment while working. She describes a forced march and receiving help from her sister and friend. She describes waking up to find the guards gone. She explains they then walked around Dresden then to Oschatz, Germany. She recalls finding food and clothing. She recalls a Soviet regiment arriving in the city. She describes reuniting with her brothers and learning that her father had perished. She describes becoming very ill after eating food from American troops. She describes traveling back to Krakow and reuniting with another brother. She recalls hearing about pogroms and witnessing violence in the streets. She explains that their home was turned into Russian offices with armed guards. She describes how she and her siblings returned to Germany to receive assistance from American troops. She describes living Schwandorf, Germany and attending school. She discusses travelling to Haifa, Israel with her brother by ship. She explains that both of her brothers were taken into the army. She describes attending school and working. She recalls being very lonely until her sister also immigrated to join them. She describes meeting her husband and having children. She discusses coming to Canada and finding employment. She discusses her reasons for giving testimony. She discusses sharing her experiences with her husband and children. She discusses her faith. She discusses guilt and her survival. She discusses reparation claims. 
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.