Oral History Interview with Judy Freeman

Judy Freeman, born on March 2, 1929 in Uzgorod in the Hungarian part of Czechoslovakia (now Uzhhorod, Ukraine), on March 2, 1929, describes her father, who was a baker; being educated in public school; the changes in Jewish life after the German occupation in August 1944; how Jews were herded into two temporary ghettos and then transported to Auschwitz in cattle cars; being separated from her family during a selection, processed, and taken to Jewish Lager C in Birkenau with 1000 young Jewish girls; the daily routine, roll calls, selections, and terrible conditions at Birkenau; devising several survival skills to keep her sanity and promised herself she would live to tell about her experiences; being sent to a gas chamber once and surviving; being selected to go to Guben, a small labor camp near Berlin, to work in an electronics component factory in November 1944; the attempts at sabotage by the slave laborers; the death march from Guben to Bergen-Belsen in January 1945; the horrible conditions and treatment of prisoners; the brutality by a Blockälteste at Bergen-Belsen; losing her will to live for the first time even though some hoarded jewelry saved her life at Bergen-Belsen during a typhus epidemic; being liberated by the British Army on April 15, 1945; the actions taken by Brigadier-General Grimm Hughes and British liberators vis-a-vis the survivors and the Germans; being hospitalized after liberation; returning to her hometown and smuggled into Munich, Germany with her new husband, who was also a survivor; living and working in two displaced persons camps, Gabersee and Wasserburg, for almost two years; arriving in the United States on September 21, 1947; receiving help from HIAS; and how they built a life and started a family, after a difficult beginning in New York.

Date: 04/21/1985
Interviewer: Selma Spielberger
Interviewee: Judy Freeman
Language: English
Subject: Blockälteste.
Concentration camp inmates--Intellectual life.
Concentration camp inmates--Selection process.
Death march survivors.
Death marches.
Forced labor.
Gas chambers.
Holocaust survivors--Marriage.
Holocaust survivors--United States.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Ukraine--Personal narratives.
Human smuggling.
Roll calls.
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation.
World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Ukraine.
Women--Personal narratives.
Location: Uzhhorod, Ukraine
Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camp
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Gabersee displaced persons camp
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-judy-freeman/
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