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Oral history interview with Yehuda Mandell

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.116 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0116

Yehuda Mandel, born in Csepe, Hungary on March 3, 1904, describes being raised in an Orthodox Jewish family; Jewish life in Csepe before and after World War I; relations with non-Jews and his education; the occupation of his town by various countries, until Csepe became part of Czechoslovakia; serving in the Czech Army from 1924 to 1926; being a cantor in Vienna, Austria in 1928 and then in Novisad, Yugoslavia (now in Serbia) from 1928 to 1934; being in Riga, Latvia from 1934 to 1936; serving as a cantor in Budapest, Hungary in 1935 at the Rombach Temple while also serving as a chaplain in the Hungarian Army; being offered a position in London, England, but choosing to remain in Hungary; Jewish life and congregational life in each location; the anti-Jewish feelings in Austria and the implementation of anti-Jewish laws in 1939; a mass grave where Jews were killed and buried in Kamenetr-Podolsk; being in various labor battalions; escaping and returning to Budapest in November 1944; staying in a house protected by the Swiss consulate; serving as a messenger in “Eilbotenausweis”; participating in rescuing 300 Jews from a prison and making illegal trips to Czechoslovakia; his experiences with Russian occupiers and the desecration and reconstruction of Rombach Temple; his wife and children, who were in Bergen-Belsen as part of a Sondergruppe organized by Dr. Kasztner; his illegal passage to Palestine in May 1946, aided by the Haganah; reuniting with his family in Kibbutz Shar Hamakkim; serving as a cantor in Haifa until he moved to the United States in 1948; and becoming a cantor at Bet Juda in Philadelphia, PA in 1950.

Interviewee
Yehuda Mandell
Date
1982 February 18  (interview)
1982 March 17  (interview)
1982 June 04  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
4 sound cassettes (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 11:01:39
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn515640