Holocaust Survivor Renée H. (4/5)

Renée H. Edited Testimony (HVT- 8047)

From the point of view of the child that she was at the time, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen from Bratislava, Slovakia relates her wartime experiences. She tells how, in German- occupied Bratislava, she served as the "ears" of her deaf parents and younger sister, alerting them to impending round-ups of Jews.

Born in the biggest city of Czechoslovakia in 1933, Renée was six when the Germans invaded her country on 15 March 1939. Like many other Jewish kids, all of a sudden Renée found herself singled out. Her friends, fellows at school, even neighbors turned their backs on her.

Unable to comprehend what was happening to her, she would sometimes innocently ask people why everyone avoids her_only to receive no answer.

Renée recounts that when the Germans took over her country, with all the bad things they did, local Slovacks were more anti-semitic than anyone else. Renée would witness beatings, military boots, and transports taking people away. Her parents were deaf, she was her ears and provided much-needed help. But when things got worse, her parents sent her along with her sister to a family they had paid.

After half a year, the host family expelled them as payments stopped arriving from their parents. They both returned to the city only to discover that there were no more transports, but there were no more people either. Her parents were sent to Auschwitz_the death camp a month ago.

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