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Oral history interview with Sylvia Ebner

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.104 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0104

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    Oral history interview with Sylvia Ebner


    Interview Summary
    Sylvia Ebner, born September 10, 1929, in Bodrogkisfalud, Hungary, describes her education, relations with non-Jews, and learning to cope with children who stoned her on her way to school; the German invasion in March 1944; how the persecution and anti-Jewish measures increased; being taken with her family to the Satoraljaujhely ghetto with Jews from several other towns; the looting of their house as soon as they walked out; several incidents of extreme brutality by Germans; being transported to Auschwitz in cattle cars and their dehumanization; her parents managing to observe Shabbat and her father trying to prepare Sylvia to cope with what she had to face; arriving at Auschwitz in May 1944 and going through processing and selections; the gassing of her mother and other relatives in trucks; being marched to Birkenau; the horrible conditions, the smell from the crematorium, and how they tried to survive; working as a slave laborer in Brzézinka also known as “Canada”, sorting belongings taken from Jews; risking her life to smuggle food to her cousin; how the starving girls were offered food on fast days such as Tisha B’ Av but refused to eat because the food was not kosher; getting scarlet fever and being hospitalized in a Revier (sick quarters) for six weeks; surviving seven selections; seeing Dr. Mengele operate without any anesthesia; seeing a Christian woman kill her newborn baby to save him from Mengele’s experiments; how the Germans drained large amounts of blood from girls who survived typhus or scarlet fever to make serums; recovering and working as a slave laborer; doing heavy-duty work; being transferred to a factory in Ober Hohenelbe, Sudeten, Germany (Hořejší Vrchlabí, Czech Republic); how the German woman in charge risked her life to find food for the prisoners; being liberated by Russian troops on May 1, 1945; returning to Hungary and receiving aid from the Joint Distribution Committee; and escaping from Hungary and immigrating to Canada.
    Sylvia Ebner
    interview:  2001 February 14
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive

    Physical Details

    3 sound cassettes (60 min.).

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Topical Term
    Antisemitism--Hungary. Concentration camp inmates--Medical care. Concentration camp inmates--Religious life. Concentration camp inmates--Selection process. Forced labor. Holocaust survivors. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Hungary--Personal narratives. Human experimentation in medicine--Poland. Infanticide. Jewish children in the Holocaust. Jewish ghettos--Hungary--Sátoraljaújhely. Jews--Education--Hungary. Jews--Hungary--Bodrogkisfalud. Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.--Hungary. Jews--Persecutions--Hungary. Judaism--Customs and practices. Kosher food. Scarlatina. Smugglers. Smuggling. Starvation. Women concentration camp inmates. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Czech Republic. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation. World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor--Poland. World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Hungary. Women--Personal narratives.
    Personal Name
    Ebner, Sylvia, 1929-

    Administrative Notes

    The Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive conducted the interview with Sylvia Ebner in Philadelphia, Pa., on February 14, 2001. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the tapes of the interview from Gratz College in August 2003.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:36:33
    This page:

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