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Oral History Interview with Holocaust Survivor Helen Greenspun

ABOVE: Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel coming to the United States of America for the first time in 1949. Helen Garfinkel Greenspun and her husband, Joe Greenspun, also a Holocaust survivor, moved to Orlando in 1973.

June 15, 2010 oral history interview with Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun selected by “Orlando Magazine”, January 2010, as a “Good Neighbor Who Gives from the Heart” for her contribution to the Central Florida community.

Originally from Chmielnik, Poland, Helen Garfinkel came to the United States in 1949.


ABOVE: Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun and family in Chmielnik, Poland. Helen is pictured in the first row, second from the left. In 1942 German Nazis took Helen and her siblings Bela, Nathan, Regina and Sonia Garfinkel from Chmielnik and sent them to labor camps. Helen Garfinkel’s parents, Kalman and Sara Pearl Garfinkel, and her younger siblings, Fishel and Rachel, along with most of Chmielnik’s Jewish citizens deemed unfit for labor were shipped to Treblinka, Poland where they were gassed in October – November 1942. Helen Garfinkel was liberated from Allach by American soldiers on April 29th, 1945. Helen Garfinkel Greenspun has lived in Central Florida since 1973 and was recognized by Orlando Magazine, January 2010, as a “Good Neighbor Who Gives From the Heart” for donating her time to share her Holocaust experiences with students of all ages throughout Central Florida. Photo courtesy of the Helen Greenspun Archives.

She and her husband, Joe Greenspun, also a Holocaust survivor, moved to Orlando in 1973 with their daughters, Pauline and Rita.

In this three part interview, Ms. Greenspun details her experiences in Skarzysko, Chestochowa, Bergen-Belsen, Burgau, Turkheim, Dachau, and Allach concentration camps and the miracles that sustained her during those years.

Helen Garfinkel and her sisters, Sonia, Regina, and Bela were liberated from Allach concentration camp by American soldiers on April 29, 1945.

Air Force Colonel Joseph A. Rosalia of Orlando, Florida was part of the American forces that day and documented the prison conditions with photos which he donated to the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida.

Helen Greenspun’s parents, Kalman and Sara Garfinkel, her brother, Fishel, and her sister, Rachel, were gassed at Treblinka, Poland in October – November 1942 along with other Chmielnik Jewish citizens deemed unfit for labor.


ABOVE: Ms. Muscovitz made the journey from the United States to Treblinka with her sister, Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun, and family members. Helen and Regina’s Aunt Channah and four cousins from Busko Zdrui, Poland along with every Jew in the town were also killed by the Nazi’s. Although Helen and Regina do not have gravesites for their parents and relatives, there are stone markers at Treblinka for the town of Busko Zudro and Chmielnik. Today Treblinka is a place where no flowers bloom and remains a memorial to those killed at the Nazi killing center during WWII. Photo courtesy of the Helen Greenspun Archives.

Suzan E. Hagstrom, former financial reporter for “The Orlando Sentinel”, wrote a book about the Garfinkel family, “Sara’s Children: The Destruction of Chmielnik”, detailing the extraordinary survival of Helen and her four siblings: Bela, Nathan, Regina, and Sonia.


ABOVE:  Photo of Elie Wiesel with Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun and her daughter, Pauline Korman, Executive Director of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida at the Annual Dinner of Tribute in Orlando. Elie Wiesel and Nathan Garfinkel, Helen Garfinkel Greenspun’s brother, were both imprisoned at Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. Photo courtesy of the Helen Greenspun Archives.

ABOVE: Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun with British historian Sir Martin Gilbert. Gilbert has written extensively on the State of Israel, the Holocaust, and World War II. He is the author of what became the most voluminous biography ever written on Sir Winston Churchill, totaling over nine million words and six volumes. Helen Garfinkel Greenspun survived seven concentration camps and a Death March from Dachau to Allach concentration camp. Her parents, Kalman and Sara Garfinkel, and her brother, Fishel, and sister, Rachel, were gassed at Treblinka, Poland in October – November 1942 along with Chmielnik’s other Jewish citizensdeemed unfit for labor. Her aunt and four cousins from Busko Zudroj, Poland also were killed by the Nazis along with every Jew in Busko. Photo courtesy of the Helen Greenspun Archives.

Ms. Greenspun has been volunteering with the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida since 1981 in an effort to speak for the girls who never made it.


ABOVE: June 15th, 2010 photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun standing next to a display of her story at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida.

She has returned to visit her place of birth, Chmielnik, but now calls Florida home and says, “America is the best country in the world!”

LISTEN Part I  (22:04)

 

LISTEN Part II (30:22)

 

LISTEN Part III (22:39)

 

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Interview with Holocaust Survivor Helen Greenspun

June 15th, 2010 photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun standing next to a display of her story at the Holocaust Memorial Resource...

Allach Concentration Camp Barracks

Photo of a concentration camp barracks at Allach, Germany. Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun was liberated from Allach concentration camp o...

Concentration Camp Barracks

Photo of a concentration camp barracks with conditions similar to those experienced by Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun. Ms. Garfinkel was...

Helen Garfinkel Performing at DP Camp

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel performing theater at the Displacement Camp in Ainring, Germany where she lived from 1946 to 1948....

Displacement Camp Photo of Holocaust Survivor Helen Greenspun

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel at the Ainring, Germany Displacement Camp where she lived from 1946 to 1948. Photo courtesy of...

1946 Photo of Helen Garfinkel

1946 photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel as a young adult. Helen Greenspun survived seven concentration camps and a Death March from Dachau...

Photo of Helen Garfinkel Coming to America

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel coming to the United States of America for the first time in 1949. Helen Garfinkel Greenspun...

Helen Garfinkel Performing on Stage in Ainring

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel performing on stage at Displacement Camp (DP) in Ainring, Germany. Ms. Garfinkel was liberated from Allach...

Rocho, Displacement Camp Theater Instructor

Photo of Rocho, an actor brought from Israel to give theater instruction to Holocaust survivors at the Displacement Camp (DP camp) in...

Mr. Dietrich

Photo of Mr. Dietrich, a German photographer from Laufen, Germany, who photographed Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel and her siblings after the war....

Thank You Note to Helen Greenspun From Sarah Hock

Thank you note to Helen Greenspun from student Sarah Hock thanking her for sharing her experiences at the Holocaust Education Center in...

Thank You Card to Helen Greenspun From Sarah Hock

Thank you card to Helen Greenspun from student Sarah Hock thanking her for sharing her experiences at the Holocaust Memorial and Resource...

Thank you note from Amy Lezburg to Helen Greenspun

May 4, 1999 thank you note to Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun from Amy Lezberg, parent of Trinity Prep student Zach Lezburg. Helen Greenspun...

Thank you note from Amy Lezburg to Helen Greenspun

May 4, 1999 thank you note to Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun from Amy Lezberg, parent of Trinity Prep student Zach Lezburg. Holocaust survivor...

Thank you note from Kimberly to Helen Greenspun

Thank you note from for Kimberly to Helen Greenspun for her class presentation on the Holocaust. Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun has lived in...

Thank you note from Daniel to Helen Greenspun

Thank you note from Daniel to Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun for her class presentation on her Holocaust experiences. Helen Greenspun has lived in...

Thank you note from Daniel to Helen Greenspun

Thank you note from Daniel to Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun for her class presentation on her Holocaust experiences. Helen Greenspun has lived in...

Thank you note from Norma Greenberg to Helen Greenspun

June 11, 2001 thank you note from Norma Greenberg to Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun. Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun has lived in Central...

The Ladies of Our Book Club Thank You Note to Helen Greenspun

April 28, 2006 thank you note to Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun from Purva Hari and Monal Pat with The Ladies of our...

Thank you note to Helen Greenspun from Rebecca J. Brennan

November 16, 2006 thank you note to Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun from Rebecca J. Brennan of Professor Richard Gair's class. Helen Greenspun...

Thank you note to Helen Greenspun

Thank you note to Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun from a student thanking her for sharing her Holocaust experience. Helen Greenspun has lived in...

Helen Greenspun and Her Sisters Share Their Holocaust Experiences with Boca Raton Students

Holocaust survivors Helen Greenspun and her three sisters, Sonia Nothman, Regina Muscovitz and Bela Hurtig speak to students at Pine Crest School...

Our Feelings About the Holocaust From Students in Ms. Marks Class

Students from Ms. Marks class in Boca Raton share their feelings on the Holocaust after hearing Holocaust survivors Helen Garfinkel Greenspun and...

Our Feelings About the Holocaust From Students in Ms. Marks Class

Students from Ms. Marks class in Boca Raton share their feelings on the Holocaust after hearing Holocaust survivors Helen Greenspun and her...

Holocaust Survivor Helen Greenspun Visits Chmielnik, Poland

July 25, 2008 Heritage Florida Jewish News special on Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun's journey from Orlando, FL to Chmielnik, Poland, her childhood...

Holocaust Survivor Helen Greenspun Visits Chmielnik, Poland

July 25, 2008 Heritage Florida Jewish News special on Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun's journey from Orlando, Florid a to Chmielnik, Poland, her...

Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida Honors Helen Greenspun

24th October 2007 Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida in Maitland honors Holocaust survivor and board member Helen Greenspun "...

A T & T Honors Helen Greenspun

A T and T honors Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun for her presentation to their organization on her Holocaust experiences. Helen Greenspun has lived...

Helen Greenspun and Family Visit Chmielnik

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun and family in Chmielnik, Poland. Helen is pictured in the first row, second from the...

Dachau Labor Camp

Photo of Dachau labor camp near Munich established in 1933 by Nazi Germany. The photo was taken by Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel...

Helen Greenspun and Regina Muscovitz at Treblinka

Photo of Holocaust survivors Helen Garfinkel Greenspun, left, and her sister Regina Garfinkel Muscovitz taken at Treblinka, Poland. The Polish villag...

Mr. and Mrs. Greenspun, Israel's New Life Award Recipients

October 8th, 1982, article from Heritage, Florida Jewish News reporting Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Greenspun of Central Florida as recipients of Israel's...

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Greenspun, Recipients of Israel's New Life Award

October 1, 1982 article from Heritage, Florida Jewish News announcing Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Greenspun of Central Florida as recipients of Israel's...

Mr. and Mrs. Greenspun, Recipents of Israel's New Life Award

Program from the Greater Orlando Committee for State of Israel Bonds first annual New Life Dinner honoring Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Greenspun...

Photo of Tsvi Nussbaum

Photo of Tsvi Nussbaum, age 8, outside the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 the day he was loaded on a truck for Bergen-Belsen...

Helen Greenspun with Neighbors in Chmielnik, Poland

2009 Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun in Chmielnik, Poland, her hometown. In September 1942 German Nazis took Helen and her sibli...

Helen Greenspun with Neighbors in Poland

2009 photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun visiting with neighbors in her hometown Chmielnik, Poland. In 1942 German Nazis took Helen ...

Elie Wiesel, Helen Greenspun, and Pauline Korman

Photo of Elie Wiesel with Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun and her daughter, Pauline Korman, Executive Director of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and...

Helen Greenspun with Sir Martin Gilbert

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Greenspun with British historian Sir Martin Gilbert. Gilbert has written extensively on the State of Israel, the Hol...

Helen Greenspun and Regina Muscovitz at Treblinka

Photo of Holocaust survivors Helen Garfinkel Greenspun, left, and her sister, Regina Garfinkel Muscovitz, taken at Treblinka, Poland. Helen and Regin...

Regina Muscovitz and Grandson at Treblinka

Photo of Holocaust survivor Regina Garfinkel Muscovitz with her grandson at Treblinka, Poland. Ms. Muscovitz made the journey from the United States to...

Helen Garfinkel on Stage at DP Theater

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel, right, performing on stage at Displacement Camp (DP) Theater in Ainring, Germany. Ms. Garfinkel was libe...

Helen Garfinkel Performing at DP Theater

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel performing on stage at Displacement Camp (DP Camp) in Ainring, Germany where she lived from 1946-1949. She...

Helen Garfinkel and Family

Photo of Helen Garfinkel, first row, first from left, with her brother Nathan, seated center, her sister Sonia, and her sister's future...

Helen Garfinkel with DP Theater Troupe

Photo of Helen Garfinkel, first row, second from left, with the Displacement Camp Theater Troupe in Ainring, Germany. Ms. Garfiinkel was rescued from...

"Fiddler on the Roof" Theater Troupe at DP Camp

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel, third row, third from left, with the Theater Troupe at Displacement Camp (DP) in Ainring, Germany....

Holocaust Survivor Helen Garfinkel

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel as photographed by Mr. Dietrich, a photographer Laufen, Germany. Helen Garfinkel lived in a Displacement C...

Helen Garfinkel, Holocaust Survivor

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel as a young adult. Helen Greenspun survived seven concentration camps and a Death March from Dachau...

Helen Garfinkel on Stage at DP Camp

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel performing on stage, center at Displacement Camp (DP) in Ainring, Germany. Photo courtesy of the Helen...

Helen Garfinkel with Theater Troupe in Ainring

Photo of Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel, first from left, performing with the Theater Troupe at Displacement Camp in Ainring, Germany. Photo court...

German Concentration Camp Records for Helen Garfinkel

German concentration camp records for Helen Garfinkel. Her name is listed at the top along with her hometown, Chmielnik, the concentration camp,...

Helen Garfinkel Greenspun World Ort Union Vocational Training School Diploma

Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel's World Ort Union Vocational Training School Diploma which she earned while living in Displacement Camp. Document c...

Personal Memory Reflections of Helen Greenspun

Personal Memory Reflections written by Holocaust survivor and Central Florida resident Helen Greenspun. Document provided to the library by Helen Greenspun.

Personal Memory Reflections by Helen Greenspun

Personal Memory Reflections written by Holocaust survivor and Central Florida resident Helen Greenspun. Document provided to the library by Helen Greenspun.

Helen Greenspun Interview Part I

June 15th, 2010 oral history interview with Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun selected by Orlando Magazine, January 2010, as a "Good Neighbor Who Gives from the Heart" for her contribution to the Central Florida community.




Helen Greenspun Interview Part 2

June 15th, 2010 oral history interview with Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun selected by Orlando Magazine, January 2010, as a "Good Neighbor Who Gives From the Heart" for her contribution to the Central Florida community.




Helen Greenspun Interview Part 3

June 15th, 2010 oral history interview with Holocaust survivor Helen Garfinkel Greenspun selected by Orlando Magazine, January 2010, as a "Good Neighbor Who Gives From the Heart" for her contribution to the Central Florida community.




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