Oral History Interview with Vera Otelsberg

Vera Otelsberg (née Neuman), born in 1924 in Bielitz (Bielsko-Biala), Poland, describes her wealthy family; her father, who was an industrialist and owned several factories and a mill; her mother, who died when Vera was a young child; being brought up by a nanny; how her family was not religious and only attending synagogue on High Holidays; how shortly before the outbreak of World War II, she escaped to Warsaw with her older sister’s family; her sister’s family leaving for South America in 1940 while Vera stayed in the Warsaw Ghetto; getting some money through a relative on the Aryan side of Warsaw; working at the Toebbens Factory; escaping from the ghetto and living on the outside on false papers; working as a maid in a German household; listening to the radio illegally and translating the reports into Polish for an underground paper; life in Sochaczew, Poland before and during the retreat of the Germans and the killing of German soldiers by the advancing Russians; returning home when Bielitz was liberated with help from Russian Jewish officers; her father’s death in Lemberg and her nanny’s death in a camp; getting married and having a daughter; moving in 1957 to Montevideo, Uruguay; and the several instances of help she received from Poles and Germans.

Date: 11/06/1989
Interviewer: Edith Millman
Interviewee: Vera Otelsberg
Language: German
Subject: Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Personal narratives.
Identification cards--Forgeries--Poland.
Jewish ghettos--Poland--Warsaw.
Jewish women in the Holocaust.
Passing (Identity)--Poland.
World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor--Poland.
World War, 1939-1945--Underground literature--Poland.
World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Poland.
Women--Personal narratives.
Location: Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw Ghetto
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