Oral History Interview with Alexandra Gorko

Alexandra Gorko (née Paley) born in Kiev, Russia (Ukraine) in 1916, describes her family returning to Łódź, Poland in 1922 to escape communism; getting married to a non-Jewish Polish Judge and reserve officer who was killed after the German invasion; her life after the German invasion and the establishment of the Łódź Ghetto; receiving help from non-Jewish neighbors; her work as the supervisor and nurse in one of the ghetto hospitals; the betrayal and deportation of 13 young men to Chelmno in January 1942 for building and using an illegal radio; being transported to Auschwitz in August 1944; the transport, selection, and “Appells” (roll calls); her refusal to follow Mengele’s orders to inject pregnant women with a gasoline-type solution and her subsequent beatings; being transported to Ravensbrück then Muhlhausen ammunition factory in the fall of 1944; being sent in February 1945 to Bergen-Belsen and conditions there; her work in an ammunition factory; being liberated in April 1945; the Swedish Red Cross moving Jews who were ill to Sweden; strategies for coping; and immigrating with her second husband to the United States in July 1948.

Date: 08/19/1985
Interviewer: Eileen Steinberg
Interviewee: Alexandra Gorko
Language: English
Subject: Forced labor.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives.
Human experimentation in medicine--Poland.
Jewish ghettos--Poland--Łódź.
Jewish women in the Holocaust.
Jews, Ukrainian--Poland--Łódź.
Pregnant women.
Prisoners--Abuse of--Poland.
Women concentration camp inmates.
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation.
World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Poland.
World War, 1939-1945--Hospitals--Poland--Łódź.
Women--Personal narratives.
Kyïv (Ukraine)
Lower Saxony (Germany)
Łódź (Poland)
Poland--History--Occupation, 1939-1945.
United States--Emigration and immigration.
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Poland.
Gorko, Alexandra, 1916-
Auschwitz (Concentration camp)
Mühlhausen (Concentration camp)
Ravensbrück (Concentration camp)
Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp)
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Lodz, Poland
Lodz Ghetto
Auschwitz concentration camp
Ravensbrück concentration camp
Mühlhausen concentration camp
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-alexandra-gorko/