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Oral history interview with Iakov Politzer

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

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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Politzer, Iakov
9 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-06-24 20:19:03
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