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Oral history interview with Judith Mandel

Oral History | Accession Number: 1992.A.0125.83 | RG Number: RG-50.233.0083

Judith Kalman Mandel describes growing up in Hatvan, Hungary, where her family identified as Hungarians who happened to be Jewish; the German occupation of Hungary beginning in March 1944; Jews having to wear the Jewish star; being spit on by other children; being moved with other Jews into a ghetto; being forced to march with 50 other Jews in the middle of a gutter, kissing the ground filled with horse-dung, while civilians in the town watched and cheered; being beaten by Hungarian police; destroying their valuables before they could be confiscated; her mother’s refusal to be separated from her child; being sent to Auschwitz and arriving on June 15, 1944; being separated from her mother; conditions in the barrack; never stealing from fellow inmates; being sent after three weeks to Płaszów concentration camp in Krakow, Poland, where she worked moving large gravestones; the Gestapo constantly beating and torturing people; the use of dogs to punish people; seeing children burned alive; surviving typhoid fever and being helped by a friend who sneaked her out of the hospital; surviving blood poisoning and pleurisy; being beaten so many times that she often thought about killing herself; one of her friends who grabbed the fence and electrocuted herself; reciting poetry and singing for food; being sent back to Auschwitz on a three day journey with no water; being under 50 pounds when American troops liberated her train on May 1, 1945 at Seeshaupt, Germany; being taken to Munich, then to Dachau; being found by a friend, Dr. Gatheish Gabol, and taken to Partenkirchen, Germany to a hospital for a week; being in an UNRA camp until September 1945; finding out that her mother, grandmother, and cousins perished; returning to Hungary and finding her father, who had been liberated in January; getting married and immigrating to the United States; and her belief that her survival was due to luck.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ms. Judith Mandel
interview:  1992 September 01
2 sound cassettes (90 min.).
Record last modified: 2021-02-16 15:52:22
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