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Holocaust testimony of Elsa Turtletaub : transcript of audiotaped interview

Author: Elsa Turtletaub; Edith Millman; Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive.
Publisher: Melrose Park, PA : Gratz College, 1987.
Series: Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive, no. 96.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Elsa Turtletaub, nee Waldner, was born Oct. 24, 1916 in Teschen [Cieszyn], Poland. She and her brother and sister attended private Catholic schools although her parents kept a kosher home and attended a Conservative synagogue on holidays. Elsa completed a commercial high school course and was active in Hanoar Hatzioni. After the German invasion in Sept., 1939, her parents lost possession of their restaurant and Elsa  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Personal narratives
Personal narratives, Jewish
Named Person: Elsa Turtletaub
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Elsa Turtletaub; Edith Millman; Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive.
OCLC Number: 42427900
Notes: Typescript.
Accompanied by 1 sound cassettes.
Transcript of taped interview conducted on July 14, 1987.
Description: 1 v. (unpaged) ; 28 cm. + 1 sound cassettes.
Series Title: Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive, no. 96.
Responsibility: interviewer, Edith Millman.

Abstract:

Elsa Turtletaub, nee Waldner, was born Oct. 24, 1916 in Teschen [Cieszyn], Poland. She and her brother and sister attended private Catholic schools although her parents kept a kosher home and attended a Conservative synagogue on holidays. Elsa completed a commercial high school course and was active in Hanoar Hatzioni. After the German invasion in Sept., 1939, her parents lost possession of their restaurant and Elsa and her sister were forced to clean German army barracks. In Dec., 1939, she escaped to Slovakia where she joined a hachshara in Zilina. She was sent to Auschwitz in March 1942 in one of the first Slovakian transports and was forced into hard labor in the sand pits, despite being ill with typhus. When transfered to the registry office, she issued death certificates requested by relatives of Auschwitz inmates, both Jewish and Gentile. By 1943, only Gentile requests were answered, as Jews were no longer registered. The causes of death given were fictional, created by the office staff. For requests for ashes of the deceaseed, the office girls filled sacks with any ashes found in the crematorium. One of the girls, Lore Shelley, describes their experiences in her book, Secretaries of Death. Living conditions for those girls, living in a building with SS women, were much better than elsewhere. In Jan., 1942, Elsa was evacuated to Ravensbrück, then to Malchow and finally to Trewitz in East Germany. She was liberated by Russians on May 3, 1945, was married in 1946 and gave birth to a son in 1948, in Katowitz, Poland. She and her family lived in Israel from 1950 to 1955 and immigrated to the United States in 1955. x.

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