Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helen Lang - February 23, 1982


An interview with Helen Lang, a Holocaust survivor, conducted by Dr. Sidney Bolkosky, Professor of History at the University of Michigan--Dearborn. Helen Lang was born in Munkacs, Czechoslovakia. Following the Hungarian annexation of the area, Helen went to work in Budapest to help support her family. While visiting her family during Pesach in 1944, the Germans came into the city and shipped Helen and her family to Auschwitz-Birkenau. After a month in Birkenau, Helen and her sister were transferred to Stutthof, where Helen was made a Blockältester. Helen and her sister were then shipped to Praust, a brand new camp, where she was a maid for the SS guards, and secured her sister as a Blockältester as well. When the Russians neared Praust the camp was evacuated and Helen, her sister, and a friend escaped the march,posing as Hungarian Gentiles. They met a group of SS doctors who took them to Denmark to stay for the duration of the war. After the war, Helen stayed in the Lübeck DP camp in Germany and moved to Prague to reunite with her family.

  1. Introduction
  2. Warning from a Gentile
  3. Life in Munkacs
  4. Education and Religion
  5. Cultural Life
  6. Politics
  7. Jewish Life in Munkacs
  8. Going to Budapest to Work
  9. Life in Budapest
  10. Anti-Semitism
  11. Hungarian Army Reaches Munkacs
  12. Arrow Cross Party
  13. Munkacs Ghetto
  14. Start of War
  15. Germans Enter Munkacs
  16. Experience on the Train
  17. Arrival at Auschwitz
  18. Arrival at Auschwitz II
  19. Life in Birkenau
  20. Discovering Fate of Family
  21. Being Ill
  22. Transfer to Stutthof
  23. Befriending a Polish Prisoner
  24. Leaving Stutthof
  25. Duties as a Blockältester
  26. Arriving at Praust
  27. Conditions in Praust
  28. Being a Maid to an SS Woman
  29. Being a Maid to an SS Woman II
  30. Escaping Punishment
  31. Writing a French Prisoner in Camp
  32. Writing a French Prisoner in Camp II
  33. Being a Maid for an SS Officer
  34. Treatment by SS Officers
  35. Meeting Polish Prisoner Again
  36. Stutthof Evacuates to Praust
  37. Talk of Resistance
  38. Leaving Praust
  39. Escaping from March
  40. Escaping Again
  41. Leaving for Denmark with SS Doctors
  42. Life in Denmark
  43. End of War
  44. Meeting SS Woman in DP Camp
  45. Inspiration in Camp
  46. Sending Word to Brother
  47. Leaving DP Camp for Prague
  48. Hearing Word of Brothers
  49. Finding Brother-In-Law and Brother
  50. Memories
  51. Sharing Story
  52. Conclusion

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