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Oral history interview with Susan Eisdorfer Beer

Oral History | Accession Number: 1993.A.0087.6 | RG Number: RG-50.091.0006

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

Susan Beer, born on May 14, 1924 in Budapest, Hungary, describes growing up in Topolčany, Slovakia, describes being an only child of a physician; the family being very comfortable and Orthodox; the good relations between the Jews and the Gentile community; attending a Jewish public school and a gymnasium, hoping eventually to become a doctor; her studies being interrupted when the civil war broke out; Slovakia becoming independent and allied to Germany; the restrictions placed on Jews; her father being forbidden to practice medicine; her father arranging for her to be smuggled into Hungary, where she stayed with relatives; her parents later joining her; her father passing as a Gentile and being caught by the police; her father escaping the police and making plans for the family to Partisan-held Czechoslovakia; the family being arrested and held in a jail for three weeks; being deported to Auschwitz, and classified as political prisoners; her father working in the camp hospital; being sent with her mother to the "model camp," which was organized for the Red Cross inspectors who occasionally toured the camp; the evacuation of Auschwitz and being sent on a death march; being taken with her mother to Ravensbruck, where she worked as a camp translator; Ravensbruck being evacuated and being sent to a camp deeper in Germany, attached to a camp filled with French prisoners-of-war; the German guards running away and the French prisoners cutting the wires enclosing the camp; the prisoners discovered stockpiles of food; going to the nearby town; going with her mother to Bratislava, Slovakia, where a man recognized them in the street and told them that Susan's father was in Budapest; remaining in Budapest for a year; finishing her studies at the gymnasium; returning to Topolcany; beginning medical school in Bratislava; her family being anxious to leave Europe; going to Williamsburg, New York with her fiancé; moving to Cleveland, OH; her husband’s podiatry office; and their two children.

Interviewee
Susan Beer
Interviewer
Donald Freedheim
Date
1984 August 08  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
3 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland Section