Oral History Interview with Helene Goodman

Helene Goodman (formerly Henia Flint), born in Łódź, Poland in 1913, describes studying piano at the Warsaw Conservatory posing as a non-Jew, and receiving her diploma in 1935; how the German invasion affected Polish Jews; having to move with her family in 1939 to the Łódź ghetto; her father’s death after the Kriminal Polizei (KRIPO) beat him; witnessing Polish-German cooperation and the murder of Jewish orphans in the ghetto; being transported with her mother to Auschwitz in August 1944 when the ghetto was liquidated; surviving a selection while her mother did not; being forced to play the piano at the camp commander’s birthday party; how the commander stabbed her when she was too frightened to play and her wounds were not treated; being put on a transport by a Jewish supervisor and going to Hainichen, Saxony, Germany; working as a slave laborer at Framowerke, an ammunition factory; the living and working conditions and how starvation affected her; the cruelty of the SS supervisor Gertrude Becker; sabotaging the output of her machine; hearing rumors that food was medicated to stop the workers’ menstrual cycle; going on a death march at the end of April 1945, guarded by SS officers who took off their uniforms and fled once they arrived at Theresienstadt; being liberated by the Russian Army on May 9, 1945; being treated by Russian women doctors; American soldiers taking her to a quarantine camp at Landsberg am Lech, Germany, where she tried to recover from the physical and emotional after effects of her experiences; getting married to her first husband, Jacob Gottlieb; living in Regensberg, Germany until they went to the United States; and her personal reflections on the Holocaust.

Date: 02/23/1981
Interviewer: Josey G. Fisher
Interviewee: Helene Goodman
Language: English
Subject: Amenorrhea.
Concentration camp guards.
Concentration camp inmates--Medical care.
Death march survivors.
Death marches.
Holocaust survivors--Marriage.
Holocaust survivors--United States.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Personal narratives.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Psychological aspects.
Jewish children--Crimes against--Poland.
Jewish ghettos--Poland--Łódź.
Mothers and daughters.
Passing (Identity)--Poland.
Women concentration camp guards.
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Poland.
World War, 1939-1945--Songs and music.
Women--Personal narratives.
Location: Lodz, Poland
Lodz Ghetto
Auschwitz concentration camp
Hainichen concentration camp
Theresienstadt concentration camp
Landsberg displaced persons camp
Regensburg, Germany
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-helene-goodman/