Pola N. testimony 1984 [video recording]
Date of Recording13 June 1984
Duration1h 42m 19.0s
SynopsisPola N. was born in Warsaw, Poland on April 28, 1919. She describes her family. She describes the Jewish community. She recalls hearing about antisemitism but not experiencing it. She recalls discriminatory laws being introduced with the German occupation. She describes organizing a committee to take care of refugee children from Germany. She recalls how her mother prepared for the war by storing food. She recalls how their neighbourhood was in the ghetto when it was established and how her family had to give away rooms. Pola went to Kielce to work in the kitchen of labour camp. She describes the ghettoization of Kielce. She describes deportation by train to Auschwitz. She describes arriving at the camp, receiving her tattoo number and the selection process. She speaks about how she survived scarlet fever and discusses friendship. She describes conditions in the barracks in Birkenau. She describes transport to Ravensbrück and forced labour. She describes punishment in the camps and witnessing executions. Pola explains that she was part of a group of prisoners exchanged between Sweden and Germany. She describes starting to work and establishing a normal life. She describes communicating with an aunt in New York through the Red Cross and then with her surviving siblings. She describes returning to Poland to live with her sister and meeting her husband. She discusses coming to Canada. She discusses sharing her experiences with her children. She discusses guilt.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.