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Oral history interview with Márta Kovalik

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.288.21 | RG Number: RG-50.670.0021

Márta Kovalik, born in 1929, discusses her family genealogy and memories of living in Vác, Hungary; the discovery that her paternal great grandfather was Jewish; her father’s service in World War I, joining the Communist Party and then the Red Army in 1919; her father’s work at the Kodak factory; his marriage to a Christian woman and hiding his Jewish heritage; attending a Catholic school that admitted non-Christians; the lack of discrimination against Jewish classmates; seeing SS soldiers during the German occupation; feeling afraid of Jews after watching the Nazi propaganda film Jud Suss; her father’s assertion that she should not be afraid because Jews are good people; working in the summer at the Kodak factory and witnessing a Jewish man be required to perform a low skilled landscaping job; watching Jewish acquintances on their way to the train station from which they were deported; hearing about a local Jewish doctor who committed suicide by lethal injection; hearing about people taking Jewish belongings; the requirement for her father to present his birth certificate at work; his boss Alfred Polster who protected the secret of his Jewish background; referring to Alfred Polster a “humanist fascist” because he greeted people with Heil Hitler but rejected the extermination of the Jews; the postwar trial and incarceration of Alfred Polster during which her father testified that Polster saved his life; seeing Polster thank her father for his testimony; learning from her aunt about her Jewish heritage when she was 20 years old; and never discussing her family’s Jewish lineage with her father.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Márta Kovalik
Borbála Kriza
interview:  2012 January 15
1 videocassette (DVCAM) : sound, color ; 1/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2021-03-26 07:01:10
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