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Oral history interview with Iakov Politzer

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.118 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0118

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    Oral history interview with Iakov Politzer


    Interview Summary
    George Politzer, born in April 5,1930 in Cadca, Slovakia, describes his family; attending a Jewish school; having a normal life until 1938; the Jewish community in Cadca; his Orthodox father and progressive communist mother; experiencing antisemitism from schoolmates; the arrest of his mother by the Slovenians in the early 1940s, her release after three months, and her escape to Budapest, Hungary; meeting people who escaped from Auschwitz in 1941 and how no one wanted to believe their stories; fleeing four months after his mother left; leaving in the spring of 1942 and going to Budapest; hiding separately from his parents in an institution for mentally challenged children; his father being caught with his false papers; going to live in Mukacheve, Hungary (now Ukraine) to live with his grandparents; being arrested after the Germans entered Hungary in March 1944; being deported and the journey in a cattle car; going through selection and pretending to be older than he was; receiving a number and being sent to the kinderblock when the guards realized his age; a scarlet fever epidemic; fighting to survive for the sake of his parents; getting sick, being temporarily hidden by his boss, but eventually being sent to the hospital; meeting with one of his previous nannies, who lived in Birkenau and worked in the Canada block; the people he met in the camp; contracting a rare disease; the murder of the Romanies in Lager A; hearing about the uprising in Birkenau; rumors of sexual assault in the camp; his weight loss in the camp; a huge selection in October 1944 and convincing Mengele not to kill him; being sent to work in Heinkel factory in Oranienburg, Germany; being attacked by a dog and hospitalized for three months; being shipped to Mauthausen; escaping the camp when the guards ran away one night; going to Wels, Austria; being treated by German prisoners of war in Hershing (possibly Hörsching); staying in a monastery in Melk for several days; his despair at hearing about his mother’s death; the loss of his faith; returning to Cadca; living in Zilina, Slovakia; smuggling Jews from Hungary to Israel; going to Israel; working on a kibbutz; and his thoughts on Israel.
    Iakov Politzer
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    9 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..

    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
    Politzer, Iakov.

    Administrative Notes

    Nathan Beyrak conducted the interview with Iakov Politzer in Israel for the Israel Documentation Project. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the tapes of the interview by transfer from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History Dept. in February 1995.
    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 08:15:03
    This page:

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