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Oral history interview with Ester Eisler

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.300 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0300

Ester Eisler, born in 1926 in Šal̕a, Czechoslovakia (presently Slovakia), discusses being one of four children; her family's affluence; Hungarian occupation in 1938; her older brother's immigration to Palestine in 1939; certification as a seamstress; German invasion in 1944; ghettoization; arrests and beatings of her father; transfer to the Nové Zámky ghetto; a letter from her brother noting he had documents for their immigration to Palestine; her mother's refusal to leave her relatives; deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May; she and one sister's separation from their family (they never saw them again); useless slave labor; her cousin arranging a privileged position as a seamstress, for which she received extra food; a male prisoner giving her better shoes; transfer to Bergen-Belsen in September, then to Duderstadt in November; slave labor in a munitions factory; a civilian worker leaving her extra food; her sister's death; a death march to Raguhn; hiding with others during the evacuation; their discovery and arrest; the local police releasing them; working for local Germans; liberation by United States troops; assistance from a Jewish soldier with whom she is still in contact; being cared for in Bitterfeld, then Halle; contacting her brother in Palestine; returning home; recovering hidden valuables; sheltering youth preparing to immigrate to Palestine under the auspices of Bene ʻAḳiva; marriage; illegal immigration to Palestine via Marseille in 1946; incarceration on Cyprus; the birth of a sickly child who died; reunion with her brother; the births of her three daughters; having pervasive painful memories; only recently sharing her experiences with her children and grandchildren; and learning five years ago that her sister was buried in the Jewish cemetery in the city of Duderstadt. (She sings a Hungarian song and shows photographs and documents.)

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ester Eisler
interview:  1996 October 25
3 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 09:45:52
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