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Oral history interview with Ephraim Glaser

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.63 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0063

Ephraim Glaser, born in 1922 in Cluj, Transylvania, Romania, describes his father, who was an Orthodox shochet, mohel and chazzan; a pogrom that took place in the courtyard of his family’s home when he was five years old; the changes that occurred when the Hungarian occupation began in 1940, including beatings and exclusion of Jews from public schools; attending cheder and yeshiva until 1943, when he was taken to a forced labor camp; escaping in 1944 because of his Aryan appearance and ability to speak German; posing as a Hungarian Christian and joining a German Army unit as a translator; being suspected as a Bolshevist and running away; finding refuge in a factory, whose owner, a baron, hid him in an unused oven; how his sister and her family hid in a Czechoslovakian monastery, but were deceived, returned to their home in August 1941, and sent on the last transport to Auschwitz; how his brother-in-law, an opera singer and cantor in Bratislava, was shot while singing for the Germans; fleeing to Miskolc in the Russian zone and being liberated at the end of 1944; the plundering of the Russians on the local population; returning to Cluj and being active in the Zionist underground movement, Bricha and transporting Jews illegally to Palestine; being accused of being a fascist by former friends who had become communists; going to Palestine and working on a kibbutz; the difficulties encountered among kibbutz members who stigmatized survivors like himself as being cowards who willingly submitted to their own slaughter; remaining silent for many years, not even telling his children about his experiences until later in his life; and how his silence and then finally talking about the Holocaust affected his children.

Interviewee
Ephraim Glaser
Date
1988 August 10  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 sound cassette (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, gift of the Holocaust Oral History Archive of Gratz College
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:53:58
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508687