Fonds RA048 - Klara Forrai fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Klara Forrai fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds.

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

CA VHEC RA048

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1945–1946 (Creation)
    Creator
    Forrai, Klara

Physical description area

Physical description

7 photographs : prints, b&w

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1928–2001)

Biographical history

Klara Forrai (née Kaufmann) was born in 1928 in Gönc, Hungary to a middle-class Jewish family; she was one of three children. Her father worked as a city councillor and businessman. Forrai and her family were interned in the Kosice ghetto in April 1944 and deported to Auschwitz in May 1944. During the selection at Auschwitz, Forrai was separated from her father, Deszo, mother Lujza, brother Tibor and sister Katalin by selection. She was in Birkenau for four months, then assigned to forced labour because her small, flexible hands were well suited for fine, tedious work. Forrai laboured at camps in Weisswasser and Horneberg, making small machinery and lightbulbs for airplanes. In April 1945, she was taken to Bergen-Belsen. Upon her arrival, Forrai was placed in a room with no beds where she slept on the floor. All around her, people were sick with typhoid. Many did not survive the night. Forrai survived and stayed at Bergen-Belsen after its liberation; she was hospitalized for several weeks and then worked as a German interpreter in the Bergen-Belsen DP camp. Forrai, along with other surviving Jews of the camp, put up a monument for the dead buried in mass graves at Bergen-Belsen. In August 1946, Forrai left Bergen-Belsen and returned to Hungary, where she learned that she was the only person in her family to survive the Holocaust. She eventually found a job, but had difficulties with the communist Hungarian government because of her family's class background before the war. Eventually, she met the survivor Ernest Forrai; the two married in 1953 and had one daughter, born in 1955. Forrai did not want her daughter to grow up in Hungary. The family immigrated to Canada in 1955 or 1956, and settled in Vancouver, where Klara and her husband were active members of the Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds is made up of seven photographs taken by an unknown photographer at Bergen-Belsen in 1945 and 1946, kept by Hungarian Jewish Holocaust survivor Klara Forrai. Photographs depict camp exteriors, activities undertaken by Forrai and other surviving internees to remember those buried in mass graves at Bergen-Belsen and a demonstration held by internees advocating immigration to Palestine.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Photographs were donated to the Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society by Klara Forrai, likely in 1992, and catalogued by the VHEC in 1996.

Arrangement

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials available for research and education purposes only.

Finding aids

Item list is available.

Associated materials

Related materials

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Rules for Archival Description

Status

Final

Level of detail

Partial

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Finding aid created in July 2020 by Shyla Seller, with information from legacy Filemaker Pro database. See also VHCS survivor case file.

Language of description

Script of description

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres