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Oral history interview with Ester Sheinberger

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.312 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0312

Ester Sheinberger, born in 1927 in Šal̕a, Czechoslovakia (presently Slovakia), discusses being the second of four children; having a wonderful childhood; attending a Jewish school, then public high school; her uncle's immigration to Palestine in 1938; Hungarian occupation; antisemitic harassment by classmates; anti-Jewish restrictions resulting in termination of her father's job in 1942; knitting socks to help support the family; her father's arrest; visiting him in Trnovec; his release; visiting relatives in Nové Zámky; meeting her future husband; his draft into a Hungarian slave labor battalion; German invasion in March; ghettoization; her father's draft for slave labor (she never saw him again); deportation with her family to the Nové Zámky ghetto, then to Auschwitz/Birkenau; separation from her mother and brothers; remaining with an aunt and sister; dehumanizing arrival procedures; refusing to believe what veteran prisoners told them about the smoke stacks; huddling together to keep warm; transfer two weeks later to Langenbielau; slave labor in the Flechtner weaving factory; knitting socks to trade for food; a five-day march to Parschnitz; throwing food to passing male prisoners; fasting on Yom Kippur; transfer back to the Flechtner factory two weeks later; abandonment by German guards in May 1945; liberation by Soviet troops; returning home via Prague and Bratislava; finally realizing that the rest of their family had been killed; reunion with her fiancé; joining a kibbutz in Budapest; marriage; traveling to Belgium; her son's birth in 1947; immigration to Palestine via France; her husband's draft into the Israeli military; and her daughter's birth; and not sharing her experiences with her children until they were adults, not wanting them to be haunted by the Holocaust and her experiences. (She shows photographs and documents, and reads a poem and letter she wrote.)

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ester Sheinberger
interview:  1996 December 05
6 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 09:45:53
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