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Oral history interview with Ava Schneck

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2011.177.14 | RG Number: RG-50.677.0014

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    Oral history interview with Ava Schneck


    Interview Summary
    Ava Schneck, born on November 26, 1923 in Békéscsaba, Hungary, discusses growing up in an affluent family; having six brothers and one sister; living in an Orthodox Jewish community; the German invasion of Hungary in 1944; the closing of businesses; her father transferring his textile business to non-Jewish woman with the understanding that some proceeds would be sent to his family while they were in hiding; her father being taken to a forced labor camp (he survived the war but died from complications incurred from his experiences); surviving in 1944 Budapest by posing as a Christian (she had acquired false papers); her brother offering a Gestapo member a cigarette, which she believes saved his life (she says not having a cigarette could have revealed his Jewishness since there were no cigarettes in the ghetto); living in fear; witnessing deportations; the shootings; using a code word to identify fellow Jews (she has forgotten the code word); sneaking a little money from their textile business to her mother and siblings, who were hiding; her anger that no country was coming to their rescue; taking a two-week journey from Budapest to Békéscsaba (sleeping in barns) after liberation; the Christians’ fear of Russian soldiers retaliation if they did not assist the Jewish community; her family’s first Shabbat following war; seeking fresh flowers (a rarity) for a bridal bouquet; spending two years in a displaced persons camp in the American zone; receiving HIAS assistance; the food shortages; having a baby; saying goodbye to her mother before taking a two-week voyage to the United States; arriving with $10 in her pocket and weighing only 90 pounds; living in Cleveland, OH before moving to New York; starting an office furniture business; and additional memories of her war-time life, including attending public school, removing her yellow star arm band to fit in and learn, and her non-Jewish teacher walking his student home to make sure they were safe from antisemitic acts. (She shares photographs from her post-war life.)
    Mrs. Ava Schneck
    Dr. Henri Lustiger Thaler
    interview:  2014 September 28
    Credit Line
    This testimony was recorded through a joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Amud Aish Memorial Museum Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center.

    Physical Details

    1 digital file : MPEG-4.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Schneck, Ava.

    Administrative Notes

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in partnership with the Amud Aish Memorial Museum's Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center, produced the interview with Ava Schneck on September 28, 2014.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:26:16
    This page:

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