Oral History Interview with Betti Frank

Betti Frank, born February 20, 1924 into a merchant family in Zutphen, Holland, describes her life before the German invasion of Holland and the invasion itself on May 10, 1940; the Dutch expelling the German-Jewish refugees before the Nazis occupied the town; the Nazis rounding up Jewish men and sending them to Mauthausen; Dutch collaborators informing on her father, who was arrested by Dutch police; her father’s death in Mauthausen; being arrested with her mother and her brother by Dutch police; her brother being sent to Westerbork then to Auschwitz, where he was killed; being taken with her mother to a building owned by the Jewish community (Kehillah), which had been converted into a hospital for older Jews; how all the Jews who did not live in Amsterdam were shipped to Vught concentration camp; turning down a chance to escape with false papers to stay with her mother; the terror tactics used to subdue them and the conditions in Vught; the separate children’s camp and having contact with non-Jewish prisoners; joining a group of Chalutzim; her mother working as a nurse; the Philips company starting a Kommando, manufacturing radio lamps; the SS sending all the workers to Westerbork or Auschwitz; being sent back to Vught by the Wehrmacht because their work was important to the war effort; being transported in June 1944 to Auschwitz at night so that Philips couldn’t stop the deportation; arriving at Auschwitz June 6, 1944 and the processing and conditions; being treated with horrendous cruelty by the Kapos; the Philips workers being taken to a labor camp at Reichenbach (Langenbielau); being taken with 150 survivors to Lanowice concentration camp to work for Philips; the workers being taken on a death march to Trautenau, Sudetenland (Trutnov, Czech Republic) in February 1945; being sent to Porta, Westphalia to work for Philips under brutal conditions along with non-Jewish women; being taken to work in a saltmine near Magdeburg, Germany then to a small camp near Hamburg, Germany to dig trenches near the front; suffering under horrible conditions; an exchange arranged by the Red Cross and Count Folke Bernadotte, which resulted in the group being taken to Malmo, Sweden and to a camp in Goteborg, Sweden; recuperating and returning to Holland briefly; and going to Israel.

Date: 03/03/1991
Interviewer: Sylvia Brockmon
Interviewee: Betti Frank
Language: English
Subject: Concentration camp inmates--Medical care.
Forced labor.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Netherlands--Personal narratives.
Jewish refugees--Germany.
Jewish refugees--Netherlands.
Refugee camps--Sweden--Malmö.
Salt mines and mining.
World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Netherlands.
Women--Personal narratives.
Geographic Name
Bielawa (Walbrzych, Poland)
Göteborg (Sweden)
Hamburg (Germany)
Israel--Emigration and immigration.
Magdeburg (Germany)
Malmö (Sweden)
Netherlands--History--German occupation, 1940-1945.
Porta Westfalica (Germany)
Trutnov (Czech Republic)
Zutphen (Netherlands)
Location: Zutphen, Netherlands
Zutphen Ghetto
Herzogenbusch concentration camp
Auschwitz concentration camp
Reichenbach concentration camp
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