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Oral history interview with Edith Logak

Oral History | Accession Number: 2016.408.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0910

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Edith Logak (née Schmelczer), born on December 25, 1935 in the town of Janoshalma, Hungary, describes her parents Saloman Schmelczer (born in Janoshalma in 1902) and Clara Roth (born in Transylvania in 1909); her father and two of her uncles (her father had nine brothers) running a small wine-producing and distributing company; living with her family in a large complex of attached buildings; the Schmelczer family being extremely pious and practiced a strict Orthodox Judaism, while her mother came from a more modern Jewish family; living a sheltered life with her extended family during the war; her memories of a non-Jewish maid watching her father hide valuables under the floor boards during the war and feeling anxious and fearful of her; attending a one-room school house that was for the Jewish community; her sister Marta, who was born in 1942 and needed to go to the hospital every three months for medical treatments; being sent with her entire family in May 1944 to a ghetto in Bacsalmas; how people were held in railroad cars for hours, waiting for the convoy to leave the station; her uncle Szmuel, who was no longer with them because he had been sent to a forced-labor camp; staying in Bacsalmas for two months; being put on a train with her family around June 1944 and being sent to Strasshof camp in Austria; being sent with her grandmother, aunt, and siblings to Lundenberg (now Břeclav, Czech Republic); her father, who was the leader of a group of workers and was well-respected; her older brother Imre, who was age 12 at the time and made friends with the local peasants and Roma communities and received food from them; the mistreatment of her sister Marta at a local hospital in Austria; being sent with the Jews in Lundenburg back to Strasshof and her memories of the air raids on the train journey; the fleeing of the German guards a few days later and the prisoners leaving their barracks to find supplies in the bombed railroad cars; leaving with the entire Schmelczer family for Bratislava, Slovakia; returning to their home in Jarosalma and her uncle Szmuel also returning from forced labor; dealing with new persecution from the community; having to attend a Jewish school with only one teacher for all the students; not being allowed to pass the baccalaureate exam and attend the university; Imre enrolling in a rabbinical school; escaping with Imre to France and travelling without proper authorization; staying with a relative in Paris and attending the Sorbonne; meeting her future husband, Dr. Logak, on an outing to the country with other Jewish students; her parents and sister Marta moving to Paris; and her three children and several grandchildren.

Interviewee
Edith Logak
Interviewer
Peggy Frankston
Date
2016 October 07  (interview)
Geography
creation : Paris (France)
Language
French
Extent
2 digital files : WAV.