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Oral history interview with John Horak

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

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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Horak, John
interview:  1990 April 02
2 sound cassettes.
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.
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:11:15
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