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Oral history interview with Sidney Simon

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.395.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0843

Sidney Simon (né Moishe Schmeel Shimonovicz), born May 22, 1925 in Sapinka (Săpînța), Romania, describes his father (Natan Natan), who traded cows and horses for a living; his two brothers and four sisters; attending public school for half the day and Hebrew school for the other half of the day; the Hungarian occupation of their village, at which time his family moved briefly to Satu Mare, Romania before returning to Sapinka; his thoughts on the Hungarian occupation; seeing the deportation of people in boxcars but not understanding what it meant; his mother’s death two years before the deportations; being sent with his family 10 kilometers away to a ghetto where they remained one month; being deported with his family in the summer of 1944 to Auschwitz, where he along with his three younger sisters were selected to survive and his father, brother, and older sister were killed immediately in the gas chamber; being in Birkenau for two weeks before being selected for a work camp in Breslau (Wroclaw, Poland); spending nine months at the work camp before being marched with 500 other prisoners to Bergen-Belsen; being liberated by the British; registering as Romanian and not being picked up until he registered as Czech; being taken to the Hungary/Czech border where he boarded a train for Budapest, Hungary; being registered at the Jewish Federation office and placed in an empty school where he reunited with his uncle and sisters; getting married to a fellow survivor from Czechoslovakia; going to Prague to be with his aunt and uncle; the communist take-over and leaving with his wife and young daughter, Marjorie, to Paris, France; immigrating to the United States in December 1949; his three daughters, grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren; how he began questioning whether there is a God when he was eight and completely lost his belief when he arrived at Auschwitz; and his continued efforts to help Jewish synagogues and charities.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Sidney Simon
Ina Navazelskis
interview:  2015 October 09
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:37:48
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