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Oral history interview with Moshe Markovich

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.289 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0289

Moshe Markovich, born in 1923 in Sevluš, Czechoslovakia (presently Vynohradiv, Ukraine), the oldest of eight children, two of whom died before the war. He recounts his father's trade as a barrel maker; attending a Czech school; extreme poverty; moving to Secǒvce; their improved situation; attending a Slovak school; working with his father from age thirteen; building a machine to improve their process; antisemitic harassment; participating in Hashomer Hatzair; Hungarian occupation in 1938; his father's military draft; visiting him in Uz︠h︡horod; his release several months later; Slovak independence in March 1939; round-up with his brother to Trebisov, then deportation to Žilina in 1942; extreme deprivation and Hlinka guard cruelty; deportation to Auschwitz/Birkenau; slave labor constructing the camp; he and his brother registering as woodworkers; their privileged assignment to the carpentry shop; assisting his brother who was not as skilled; his brother's hospitalization for typhus; learning he had died; making doors for the crematoria; receiving food from Polish civilian workers and a hometown friend who was smuggling goods; Allied bombings; helping a newly arrived Hungarian doctor; meeting with a Red Cross representative and having to lie to him; public executions; prisoners reciting Kol Nidre on Yom Kippur; a death march; spending the night in a barn; hiding with another man when the group left; escaping to a nearby village; trading their valuables for peasant clothing; help from a forest guard to escape to Ostrava; help from a local family; posing as non-Jews with everyone else; his fellow escapee leaving; frequently hearing antisemitic remarks; traveling to Košice, then Secǒvce; meeting other returning Jews; traveling to Uz︠h︡horod, then Sevluš, seeking surviving relatives; traveling to Mukacheve, then Prague; starting a woodworking factory in Humenné with two other survivors; brief arrest for smuggling; and emigration to Palestine via Marseille in 1947; the importance of his mechanical skills to his survival; guilt about his brother's death; his anger at God; shock at prejudice against survivors by native Israelis; difficulty adjusting to Israel; reluctance to discuss the Holocaust until recently; and his daughter's interest in his experiences.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Moshe Markovich
interview:  1996 July 26
15 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 09:29:11
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