Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Malvina Grünfeld Burstein

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.030.0351

Malvina Burstein (née Grünfeld), 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.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Malvina G. Burstein
Randy M. Goldman
interview:  1995 October 11
Oral histories.
3 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2023-11-16 08:02:16
This page: