Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994


An interview with Lily Fenster, a Holocaust survivor, conducted by Dr. Sidney Bolkosky, Professor of History at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Lily Fenster was born in Warsaw Poland in 1926. After the German invasion of Poland, Lily, along with her mother, father and five sisters, was placed in the Warsaw Ghetto. After some time, Lily was able to escape from the ghetto, leaving her family behind. In the ghetto, her four sisters died from hunger and her father disappeared. After making her way to Łuków Podlaski, Lily was able to work on a farm and raised enough money to have her mother smuggled from the ghetto. Within six weeks of the reunion, Lily's mother was deported to Treblinka. Lily, having obtained a Kennkarte, and hiding among the Gentile population was able to evade capture. After her mother's deportation, Lily moved into the main city of Łuków Podlaski, where she obtained work as a nurse, until the Russian liberation. While in Łuków Podlaski she met her future husband. After the war, Lily, along with several others, made her way to Łódź and then on to Germany. She emigrated to the United States in 1951.

Link to Portraits of Honor Project

  1. Introduction
  2. Grandmother
  3. Warsaw
  4. Political Leaders
  5. Father's Political Views
  6. Outbreak of War
  7. Bombings
  8. Religious Life
  9. Hospitalized
  10. Warsaw Ghetto
  11. Death of Sister
  12. Gesia Street
  13. Leaves Ghetto
  14. Journey to Łuków Podlaski
  15. Railroads
  16. Anti-Semitism
  17. Aunt
  18. Hiding in Łuków
  19. Knowledge of Family
  20. Witnessing Aktion
  21. Obtaining Work Card
  22. Polish Officials
  23. Relations with Other Jews
  24. Partisans
  25. Sexual Advances
  26. Mother Smuggled out of Ghetto
  27. Liquidation of Ghetto
  28. Knowledge of Death Camps
  29. Extended Family
  30. Knowledge of Family
  31. Return to Hiding
  32. Work in Hospital
  33. Yitzhak
  34. Seeing Bodies
  35. News of War
  36. By-Standers
  37. Poles
  38. Catholicism
  39. Liberation
  40. Liberation (Continued)
  41. German Occupation in 1939
  42. Uncle
  43. Pregnant
  44. Łódź
  45. DP Camp in Germany
  46. Birth of Daughter
  47. Fate of Family
  48. Memories of Łuków
  49. Treblinka Song
  50. Remebering Family
  51. Speaking about Experiences
  52. Children
  53. Telling Children about Experiences
  54. Deportation of Mother
  55. Husband
  56. 1943
  57. Arrival in America
  58. New York
  59. Religious Practice in America
  60. Meeting other Survivors
  61. Reflections on Experience

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