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Oral history interview with Chanie Singer

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.177.16 | RG Number: RG-50.677.0016

Chanie Singer, born June 2, 1935 in Nyíregyháza, Hungary, discusses growing up in a poor, Orthodox Jewish family; having one brother; her father, who was forced into the army; her mother subletting their tiny Budapest space to others in hiding and the landlord threatening to send them to Auschwitz; paying a non-Jewish farmer to hide them in his hayloft and having limited food; how after two months the farmer--fearing he would be caught hiding them--put her family on train and promised they would be safe in the ghetto until the end of the war; the deplorable conditions in the Budapest ghetto; her mother being separated from her children and paced in front of the children’s barracks until a guard let her in; her memories of crying for food at age nine; the lack of drinkable liquids and having to consume urine at one point; the emotions of the people in the ghetto and the feeling that they were waiting for death; her mother sneaking out of the ghetto to find food; how people had been shooting horses for food; experiencing a surprising act of kindness from a non-Jew in the ghetto; being liberated by the Russians; Russian soldiers drinking vodka and singing drinking songs; finding happiness in a survivors orphanage; wanting to be taken in by Israel; rejecting her mother’s invitation to go to the United States, but acquiescing after her mother promised never-ending chocolate in the US; seeing her father for the last time when he came to see the family off; her mother paying gold coins to a truck driver to take them over the border; entering an Austrian hospital and then crossing into Germany at night; being housed at the Rothschild Hospital; spending three years in Kassel, Germany displaced persons camp in the American zone; living in small room and studying Hebrew; her aunt in the US sending care packages and an affidavit to bring them over; a cherished boyfriend who would leave for Palestine; immigrating to the US and arriving in Boston, MA; her aunt, who taught Chanie (then 13 years old) how to smoke; getting married and having four children; moving to New York; and dealing with manic depression but having gratitude for her religious family as well as the US.


Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Interviewee
Ms. Chanie Singer
Interviewer
Dr. Henri Lustiger Thaler
Date
interview:  2014 December 14
Language
English
Extent
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
This testimony was recorded through a joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Amud Aish Memorial Museum Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center.
 
Record last modified: 2020-08-03 11:56:03
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn607896