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Oral history interview with Moshe Markovich

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

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

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.

Interviewee
Moshe Markovich
Date
1996 July 26  (interview)
Language
Hebrew
Extent
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
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Record last modified: 2018-05-21 14:33:48
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn503147