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Oral history interview with John Horak

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2006.70.20 | RG Number: RG-50.583.0020

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    Oral history interview with John Horak


    Interview Summary
    John Horak, born December 29, 1919 in TrencTeplice, Czechoslovakia (Trenčianské Teplice, Slovakia), discusses his family background and childhood; moving to Bratislava, Slovakia; studying for three years in Brno, Czech Republic; memories of the 1939 German occupation; returning home in 1939 to help with his parents’ business; the benefits of his family’s good connections; going into hiding in 1943 after being warned about a round up; sending a letter to the minister of education, whom he knew, with a desperate plea; how the minister helped him for a year; being sent to a transit camp Zilina, where he could move around freely; joining the underground; having a fake identity; an incident in which the SS and local guards almost caught him in September or October of 1944; going into hiding with a couple until December 1944; being sent to that couple’s parents’ house in Male Bedzany in the Tatry mountains; getting sick on the way there; the couple nursing him back to health and giving him fake papers; villages being taken by the Russian army on April 2 or 3, 1945; meeting a Jewish Russian officer who hosted him and helped him get back to Bratislava; stopping at a village where he found his brother and mother who were in hiding; and living in Bratislava until 1948 when he immigrated to Australia.
    John Horak
    interview:  1990 April 02
    Credit Line
    Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

    Physical Details

    2 sound cassettes.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Permission must be obtained from the University of Sydney, Archive of Australian Judaica for any type of use other than research.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Horak, John, 1919-

    Administrative Notes

    The Australian Institute of Holocaust Studies conducted the interview with John Horak on April 2, 1990 for the Twelfth Hour Project. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received a copy of the interview in April 2006 from the State Library of New South Wales where the collection is housed.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:03:04
    This page:

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