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Oral history interview with Chanan Akavia

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.271 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0271

Chanan Akavia, born on July 29, 1927 in Sighet (Sighetu Marmatiei), Romania, describes the Germans entering Hungary in March 1944 when he was a student in the city of Uzhhorod, Ukraine; returning to Sighet; details about his parents and his siblings; the deportation of his family to Auschwitz; his father’s role in the Judenrat (Jewish council); the anti-Jewish laws implemented in Sighet and the ghetto; conditions during the train journey to the camp; being sent to Buna (Monowitz) and placed in Block 44, which was a youth barrack; daily life in the camp; his work for I.G. Farben Industries; his fingers getting crushed and recuperating in the hospital; working in the toy workshop in “Commando 90”; moral dilemmas in the camp; selections in Buna; the hangings; being sent to a factory (Laurahütte; Siemianowice Slaskie, Poland) near Katowice, Poland to build anti-aircraft weapons; having an infected wound and continuing to work; daily bombings; spending the winter in Hannover, Germany; being transferred then sent to Bergen-Belsen; cannibalism; liberation; being hospitalized for months; going to Malmö, Sweden; being diagnosed with tuberculosis; his Swedish nurse, Marta; disagreements among the Jewish and non-Jewish patients; receiving a scholarship to study in a polytechnic in Sweden; his involvement with the Zionist organization Hehalutz; going to Vickelbi, a kind of training farm in preparation for immigration to Eretz Israel; meeting his future wife; the sea voyage to Eretz Israel and arriving in May 1946; his work on the kibbutz (Degania Bet); the War of Independence; his children; taking a post at the Israeli Embassy in Budapest, Hungary in 1964; and his wife’s book.

Chanan Akavia
interview:  1996 January 11
12 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:29:08
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