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Oral history interview with Jon Sauber

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0441.122 | RG Number: RG-50.462.0122

Jon (formerly György) Sauber, born August 14, 1926 in Budapest, Hungary, describes living with his family in Rakoskeresztur (now VII. Kerület in Budapest) until 1936 when they moved back to Budapest; life after 1943, including the food shortages, persecution of Jews, and the wearing of the yellow star; the deportations beginning; non-Jewish Hungarians bringing his family some food; his mother’s store being taken over by two Christian “partners”; attending school with non-Jewish students, having religious instruction, and attending the Dohany Temple; experiencing a few instances of discrimination as a student; being drafted in 1944 into a forced labor unit that went to the Russian front; being wounded and put on a Red Cross train, but not receiving medical treatment; being transferred to a deportation train for Hungarian Jews; conditions on the train and his arrival and processing at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; conditions at Bergen-Belsen before and after liberation; his activities in the camp, including removing hair and gold teeth from corpses; how he managed to survive; witnessing brutal treatment of inmates; the Germans fleeing just before the camp was liberated by Allied troops; the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRAA) caring for the survivors; returning to Budapest and reuniting with his father; the deportation and deaths of his mother and sister; resuming his education; going to a displaced persons camp in Germany, run by UNRAA, and to a camp in Bamberg with a group planning to go to Palestine; immigrating to Saskatoon, Canada with a group of Jewish orphans sponsored by the Canadian Jewish Congress in January 1946; being helped by the Jewish community; bringing his father and stepmother to Canada; still feeling haunted by his experiences and trying to cope with the loss of most of his family; and moments that have brought him some peace.

Interviewee
Jon Sauber
Date
1999 October 21  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, acquired from the Gratz College Hebrew Education Society
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:02:24
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn515647