Sand, Halina P (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 12526
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 210, Number Of Items 7
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview

Object description

Polish Jewish child inmate in Warsaw Ghetto, Poland, 1940-1943; living under false identity in Warsaw area, Poland, 1943-1945; emigrated to GB, 1946

Content description

REEL 1 Recollections of background in Warsaw, Poland,1935-1939: family life and circumstances; religious beliefs; degree of Polish antisemitism; mitigating factor of having Aryan appearance; character of Warsaw's large Jewish community; atmosphere prior to German invasion. Recollections of German invasion of Poland, 9/1939: sheltering during German bombing of Warsaw; sight of German troops marching through Warsaw. Recollections of period as inmate in Warsaw Ghetto, 1940-1943: deteriorating situation for Jewish civilians prior to erection of ghetto; house/flat swapping in open ghetto, prior to 11/1940; increasingly crowded conditions; confiscation of Jewish owned furs; awareness of situation; secret wedding of uncle; imposition of curfew and situation regarding synagogues; introduction of requirement to wear Star of David. REEL 2 Continues: penalties for removing Star of David; construction of ghetto wall; size of ghetto; contacts and communications outside ghetto; how father managed to continue his business until ghetto was closed; character of selections and concealment; reaction to concealment; food situation; deportations and disappearances; overcrowding and disease; mother's work with charity kitchens; sight of corpses in street; limited education received; reaction to disappearance of schoolmates; father's work in ghetto; German presence in ghetto and attitude towards Jewish Police; opinion of German Jews resettled in ghetto; awareness of resistance; orphanages in ghetto. REEL 3 Continues: water and electricity services; attitude towards Jewish Council; crime and begging; collecting for charity in block; spotting signs of starvation; mother's reaction to catching her playing 'deportation game'; cultural life; situation regarding Jewish festivals and kosher laws; how retention of standards and values change with the necessity of survival; move to another area in ghetto; improved selection shelter in concealed room; incident were mother wrapped her as a parcel during selection, 6/9/1942. REEL 4 Continues: memories of children of ghetto. Recollections of period living under false identity in near Warsaw, 1943- 1944: escape with mother from ghetto, 2/1943; learning new identity as Stefania Kaczorowska; arrival at house of Jozef Jaworski; description of accommodation; precautions taken; food and supplies; mother's role; financial situation; types of food eaten; incident of having to hide in cupboard during German search of flat; anecdote relating to how mother aided the mother of a Polish Resistance member. REEL 5 Continues: constructing shelter under the house with the assistance of Russians POWs; accommodation and services within shelter; nightime work on shelter; move of SS man, Lau into flat; dangers represent by presence of Lau; news of progress of war; cramped conditions in shelter; restricted movement and coping with secret identity; opinion of mother abilities; experiences during Russian siege of Warsaw, 1944; lack of common cause between Jewish and Polish resistance groups; fate of father's partner Mr Idzikowski; starting school. REEL 6 Continues: withdrawal of Germans and arrival of Russians. Recollections of period living in Poland, 1944-1946: family emerging from hiding; move to Zelechow to escape shelling; lack of knowledge to the full extent of Final Solution; father's curing of uncle using medical textbook; question of aid given to Jews by Polish civilians; gradual end to the end of war; small proportion of Jews who survived; devastation of Warsaw; returning cultural life; education and antisemitic abuse; dangers of father's job as travelling salesman; move to Gdynia for father's work with US Joint Distribution Committee; life in Gdynia. Recollections of emigration to GB, 1946: character of journey to GB, 10/1946; assistance given by uncle Joseph Rotblat; starting education in Liverpool. Reflections of Holocaust experience: question of feeling secure; effects of experience. REEL 7 Continues: strain on mother's health of experiences; factors important to their survival against odds and rarity of their case; father's reaction to being told by Jewish survivors' group that they must have collaborated in order to survive; question of lack of assistance and sympathy given by British Jewry; problems encountered by father in establishing career and Sand's educational success; attitude towards Poles; question of compensation; importance of recording Holocaust experiences.

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