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Mira Frenkel photograph collection

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.125.1

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    The collection consists of 5 photographs depicting Jewish children, including Mira Frenkel (née Menzer), performing in a play while imprisoned in the Nováky forced labor camp in Slovakia in 1944.
    creation:  1944
    Collection Creator
    Mira Frenkel
    Mira Frenkel was born Mirka Menzer on 5 January 1938 in Bratislava, Slovakia to Eduard Menzer and Aurelia Zlata Lamm Menzer. Mira had one sister, Herta Menzer (later Iris Avni, b. 1928), and one brother, Yehuda Alfred Miron Menzer (b. 1927). Her father was a wealthy wine merchant in Bratislava. They were Orthodox and spoke German at home.

    In March 1939 Slovakia aligned itself with Nazi Germany, under Jozef Tiso. The Menzer family sold its house in Bratislava and moved in with their maternal aunt, Luisa Lamm Schlesinger, in Nitra, 50 miles to the east. In April 1942 the Menzer family was supposed to be deported to Auschwitz, but at the last moment they were released before boarding the train. In 1943 Mira’s sister tried to flee Nitra for Hungary but she was caught and imprisoned. Mira and her parents were deported to the Nováky forced labor camp. After Herta was released from prison, she was also sent to Nováky. The family was released along with the other prisoners after the Slovak National Uprising in August 1944. Mira’s brother was a forced-laborer in Hungary and deported to Auschwitz in 1944.

    The Menzer family stayed in Banska Bistrica and later tried to go into the Tatra Mountains. For a few weeks, they lived high up in the mountains, but then came down to the villages below at the urging of partisans. One day, some Germans entered the hut where the Menzer family was staying and saw Eduard wrapped in his Tallit reciting his morning prayers. The German soldiers tore the Tallit off him and threw it on the ground. Herta confronted one of the Germans and insisted that she and her sister were not Jewish. She told them they were escaping from the Soviets, and her father claimed he they were not his children. The Germans arrested Eduard, but let them go. Aurelia recovered her husband’s Teffilin and fled with her daughters to another village. Eduard was executed on 9 January 1945 in Kremnica.

    Mira, Herta, and their mother were liberated by the Soviet Red Army in March 1945. Their brother was liberated from the Bunzlau subcamp of Gross-Rosen. The family reunited in Nitra and eventually immigrated to Palestine.

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Personal Name
    Frenkel, Mira.

    Administrative Notes

    The photographs were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Mira Frenkel.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:08:46
    This page:

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