Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Charlotte Firestone - March 11, 1982


The following is an interview with Mrs. Charlotte Firestone at her home in Livonia, Michigan on the afternoon of March 11, 1982. The interviewer is Professor Sidney Bolkosky.

Could you uh, tell me your name and where you are from?

My name is Charlotte Firestone and I'm from Munkacs.

And your maiden name?

Schunfeld. S...Schunfeld, Chari.

Munkacs was where?

That was Czechoslovakia. Actually when they took us away it was Hungarian, already. Because uh, the Hungarian took it over.

Now um, you understand that the, the tapes and the transcriptions will be for public use in the Holocaust Memorial Center?


All right. Can you tell me um, what you remember about your life before the war?

Yeah, I was married and I had a son. In 1942, I had, had a son and um, my, my, my husband was in Russia, he was in prison. I didn't know at that time. I just knew that I don't get any mail or anything from him. I didn't know exactly where he was. My child was born in '42 in August the ninth and um, they took him away two weeks later and I never knew where he was. At that time, I moved back to my parent's home in, um...

They took your husband away?

Yeah. And um, I moved to my parents' home and my father was a hundred percent invalid from the first war. So, he had--when they took the Germans--when Germans came in, we moved out because our place fell into the ghetto. So they took us out, out of the ghetto. We moved--it was across the street, not far from where we lived, but it was across the street from us. We moved there and we just lived there a couple weeks, I cannot recall exactly how many weeks. And my sister--I remember the--we were able to go out, walk out, we had to have that yellow star, but we could have gone out. The ones who fell into the ghetto, they couldn't go outside. But we could.

You weren't put into the ghetto because your father was a veteran? Is that right?

Yeah, he was a veteran. So, we moved out and my sister went out in the morning and I had a younger brother who lives in California, he went out too and they came home around noon time, then they were ready to go to eat and they said they are taking away the people and I should--those people who had the privilege to go out, they had to have some kind of reason why they were able to go out and move out from the ghetto. So--and they, they saw somebody picking up already who were also those privileged people. To picking up and maybe we should go out from the house. My mother said "the food is on the table, let's go eat and then you think about it." By the time she was thinking about it, they came with a truck, they picked us up and they took us straight to the, to the station, to the um, train station.

This was when the Germans came?

The Germans, the SS.

Do you remember when that was?

That was, I think the seventeenth of April.

In what year?

194...uh, 1944.

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