Oral History

Helen (Helene Katz Wohlfarth) Waterford describes giving up her daughter to be sheltered

Although originally from Germany, Helen was living in the Netherlands with her husband and young daughter when the Germans invaded in May 1940. Helen and her husband sent their daughter to non-Jewish friends, and went into hiding themselves. They stayed in a variety of places arranged by a friend who was active in the underground. On August 25, 1944, Helen and her husband were arrested. They were sent first to Westerbork and then to Auschwitz, where they were separated. Helen worked in the I. G. Farben factory in Auschwitz. Helen survived; she and her daughter immigrated to the United States in 1947.


Critical Thinking Questions

Why are survivor testimonies important in studying the Holocaust?

What questions does this eyewitness testimony raise for you? Who do you think the intended audience was?

What other source materials might be helpful to provide more historical context for this eyewitness testimony? What aspects of the history might these other source materials help reveal?


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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