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Oral history interview with Malvina Grunfeld Burstein

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0351

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

Malvina Burstein (née Grunfeld), born in 1913 in Trebisov, Slovakia, describes growing up as the youngest in a family of eight children; being involved with a number of Jewish organizations including Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir, Betar, Mizrachi, and Agudat Israel; the deterioration of Gentile-Jewish relations when Slovakia was taken over by the Nazi-backed Hlinkova Slovenská Ludová Stana in March 1939; the boycott of Jewish stores, the confiscation of property, having to wear a yellow Star of David, and seeing Jewish boys taken for forced labor; hiding while the other Jewish girls in the town were rounded-up and deported; her attempt to flee to Hungary in the spring of 1942; arriving at the Hungarian border and being directed to the home of her aunt, who gave her false identity papers; continuing on to Budapest after receiving traveling money from a cousin; managing to find work and a place to live; receiving Hungarian-Christian papers from a family friend named Joseph Adler; posing as a Christian until the end of the war; helping to aid other Jews by securing false papers; serving as the liaison for the operation to secure papers and going to the Nazi-controlled National Printing Office to pick up orders of 500 work permits, which allowed some 1,500 Jews to survive the war disguised as Hungarian-Christian laborers; staying briefly in Szeged, Hungary when the war ended; returning to Slovakia to look for her family but being unable to find any of her relatives; traveling to Prague and then to a displaced persons camp in Leipheim, Germany, where she reunited with her cousins; registering as a displaced person in Leipheim from 1945 until 1947; and sailing on the Ernie Pyle in 1947 to the United States, where she joined her surviving brother and sister.

Interviewee
Malvina G. Burstein
Interviewer
Randy M. Goldman
Date
1995 October 11  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
3 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:14:36
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn504844