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Moshe A. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3497) interviewed by Anita Tarsi and Miriam Aviezer

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3497

Videotape testimony of Moshe A., who was born in Ložín, Czechoslovakia in 1918. He recalls living in Vranov; his father's dental practice; his assimilated home, although his grandparents were religious; attending gymnasium in Michalovce; antisemitic harassment; attending Hebrew gymnasium in Mukacheve; participating in Hashomer Hatzair; infrequent visits home when his family moved to Pezinok; attending university in Prague in 1936; returning home in 1938; eight months on a hachsharah, training to emigrate to Palestine; leading a Zionist youth group in Bratislava; a failed attempt to emigrate to Palestine; forced construction labor for the Germans in 1941 in Liptovský Hrádok; sabotaging the work; teaching in a Jewish school in Podolinec; working in a notary's office in 1943, from which he obtained blank birth certificates and wedding licenses to use for false papers for Jews; visiting his girlfriend in Poprad; encountering a former friend who was a Hlinka guard; joining his parents in Bánovce; obtaining papers as a non-Jew; hiding with non-Jewish neighbors; being assigned to leave for Hungary at a Hashomer Hatzair meeting in Nové Mesto; traveling with Polish refugees from Prešov to Budapest in January 1944; and German invasion in March.
Mr. A. tells of having his parents and two younger sisters smuggled to Hungary; later arranging his parents' return to Slovakia, thinking it safer; obtaining false papers for his sisters and future wife; his assignment building bunkers; dressing as a Hungarian train officer to organize routes for Jews to Romania; encounters with smugglers in Oradea; arrest of some underground colleagues; a non-Jew organizing their escape; working with Rudolf Kasztner; meetings with Yoel Palgi and Peretz Goldstein, whose parachuting mission, he believed, harmed the rescue efforts; organizing children's homes with assistance from Ottó Komoly, the Swiss embassy, and the Red Cross; visiting the ghetto to take children to safer homes; an Arrow Cross soldier arranging the release of arrested colleagues; liberation by Soviet troops in January; moving the children to country locations where food was available; helping beat a Nazi who had killed a friend, but finding no satisfaction in revenge; moving to Košice to organize Beriḥah illegal emigration routes to Palestine; marriage; assistance from the Joint; reunion with his oldest sister; conversation with Abba Kovner about revenge; the trauma of learning his parents had not survived; and emigration to Palestine in 1946. Mr. A. discusses conflicts among Jewish groups and moral dilemmas choosing whom to save and whether to fight.

Author/Creator
A., Moshe, 1928-
Published
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1993
Interview Date
January 1, January 15, January 28, February 28, and April 23, 1993.
Language
Hebrew
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Moshe A. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3497). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
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View in Yale University Library Catalog: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/4297678
Record last modified: 2012-12-19 16:33:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/hvt4297678