Irena Wygodzka with her sister Jadzia Mendelson one day after the liberation of the Oberaltstadt camp

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  • Photo taken in:
    Oberaltstadt
    Year when photo was taken:
    1945
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1945-1989
    Country name today:
    Czech Republic

This is a picture of me with my younger sister Jadzia (Jadwiga) taken in the labor camp in Horejsi Stare Mesto (Oberaltstadt), one day after the liberation of the camp.

I was at the camp with my mother and sisters until the end of the war. And we all survived. My sisters worked very hard at that camp. Even the little one, Jadzia, she had to push these heavy carts with the cotton spools, she cleaned the toilets.

Mother worked on the machine for some time and later this 'Lagerführer' allowed her to work in the kitchen. It was easier, because she didn't have to go to the factory and there was one more plate of soup.

We were lucky that our camp was not evacuated, because during evacuations many people died of exhaustion, diseases. Almost all the surrounding camps were evacuated.

At the end we had to dig trenches before the Russians came. We were there until 8th May, even a little bit longer, because we didn't know where to go.

The Czech locked up this 'Lagerführer' and those SS-women. There were all put on trial later in Czechoslovakia. I even testified in the trial of our 'Lagerführer,' her name was Hoffman.

Interview details

Interviewee: Irena Wygodzka
Interviewer:
Zuzanna Schnepf
Month of interview:
May
Year of interview:
2005
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Irena Wygodzka
Jewish name:
Erna (Eni)
Year of birth:
1922
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Magdeburg
Country name at time of birth:
Germany
Occupation
after WW II:
Technical editor in publishing House
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Beitner
    Year of changing: 
    1945
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1940

Other Person

Jadwiga Mendelson
Jewish name:
Jochewet
Year of birth:
1933
Decade of birth:
1930
City of birth:
Poland
Country name at time of birth:
Katowice
Occupation
after WW II:
Nurse
  • Previous family name: 
    Beitner
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1950

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation

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