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Oral history interview with Kornel Tarjan

Oral History | Accession Number: 2020.27.2 | RG Number: RG-90.127.0001

Kornel (Friedman) Tarjan (1893-1978) born in 1893 in Szekszard, Hungary, discusses his studies in mechanical engineering in Berlin, Germany; serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army as an officer during WWI; being wounded on the Italian front and discharged; recovering from his wounds and becoming the city engineer in Pecs, Hungary while the town was under Serbian occupation; his escape from Pecs after the arrival of Nicholas Horthy who marched into Pecs as a "liberator”; traveling to Vienna, Austria with his teenage brother; restoring a mill in Bosnia and learning the Serbo-Croatian language; settling in Zagreb (now in Croatia); opening a business where he imported radios and electrical equipment; his two children, Lucia (aka Medi) and Ivan (aka Jancsi or Van) born in 1925 and 1930 respectively; Germany’s invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941; the family’s deportation to an Italian concentration camp on an island in the Adriatic; joining Tito’s partisans after the fall of Mussolini; his two years marching with Serbian partisans; being taken by boat to liberated Southern Italy; how everyone in the family survived except for Lucy’s teenage husband; the family’s immigration to the United States; and their lives in the Boston, MA area after the war.

Interviewee
Kornel Tarjan
Interviewer
Ken Tigar
Date
interview:  approximately 1970
Language
English
Extent
6 sound cassettes.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Peter P. Tarjan