Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Alex Hochhauser hugs a group of children in front of the Maccabi sports gymnasium in Zilina, Czechoslovakia.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 58647

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Alex Hochhauser hugs a group of children in front of the Maccabi sports gymnasium in Zilina, Czechoslovakia.
    Alex Hochhauser hugs a group of children in front of the Maccabi sports gymnasium in Zilina, Czechoslovakia.


    Alex Hochhauser hugs a group of children in front of the Maccabi sports gymnasium in Zilina, Czechoslovakia.
    Zilina, [Slovakia] Czechoslovakia
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Alex Hochhauser

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Alex Hochhauser

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Alex Hochhauser is the son of Samuel and Ella Hochhauser. He was born May 18, 1912 in Breslau, Germany, where his father was a businessman. Alex had four brothers and two sisters. His parents kept a kosher home but were very liberal in their beliefs. Influenced by their enthusiasm for the Zionist movement, Alex joined the Jewish sporting club, Bar Kochba in 1926. At the age of twelve he won the Maccabi youth gymnastics championship in Berlin. In 1930 Alex began traveling to cities throughout Germany, Austria, Holland and Czechoslovakia as a representative of the Breslau chapter of Bar Kochba. Soon after the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, he was invited to move to Prague to join the Maccabi team. Though his family did not approve, Alex felt he had to get out of Germany. In Prague, Alex worked as a technical assistant for several sports groups and helped organize gymnastic camps throughout the country. He accompanied the Maccabi team to Palestine in 1934 and remained for a year, trying to introduce gymnastics to the local Jewish community. Upon his return to Prague, he discovered he no longer had the necessary papers to remain in the city and had to move to Slovakia. He settled in Zilinia, where he obtained two sets of false papers as Alex Sanderholly and Alex Sanderhorski. He taught sports at a new gym that was built near the Jewish school. He also organized other activities for the Jewish youth, including theater productions and self-defense classes. For a short time between 1935 and 1938 he was also a teacher at the Jewish school. In 1938 Alex was invited to take part in the "Championship of Budapest," a gymnastics competition in which he won first prize on the vault. Soon thereafter Alex lost his job at the Zilinia gym when local authorities prohibited its use by the Maccabi, and later banned the organization. Alex then resorted to giving clandestine gymnastics lessons to non-Jews. From 1939 to 1942 he was interned in several labor camps, but managed to escape using false identification papers. The authorities eventually drafted him to organize sports activities for Jewish schools. He was thus able to avoid deportation for a time. In July 1942 he was sent to a Jewish transit camp, where he was put in charge of organizing activities for the children. Three months after his arrival, Alex escaped, again using false identification papers. He found shelter in the home of a Slovak officer and remained with him for two years. In 1944 Alex joined the Slovak partisans and spent three months fighting the Germans in the forest. After the defeat of the partisans, Alex and his friend, Mickey Stauber, returned to Zilinia, where they were given a room by a local Slovak. When the German army tried to evict them in order to use the room to billet Hungarian officers, Alex and his friend managed to obtain false documents that identified them as Hungarian officers, thus allowing them to remain until the end of the war. After the liberation Alex spent one year in Prague before moving to Munich. In Germany, he helped to reestablish the Maccabi movement, becoming chairman of Maccabi Germany. Alex also worked as a photo journalist for the Central Committee of the Liberated Jews, reporting extensively on the activities of Jewish DPs in Munich. In 1951 he married Margaret Nitschke and immigrated to Montreal. Margaret had moved to Munich in 1947 after having survived the war in Breslau with her non-Jewish mother. Alex attended McGill University and then worked as a gym teacher for the Young Men's Hebrew Association and the local Jewish school system. They returned to Munich one year later. Alex' parents were deported to their deaths in 1943. His siblings, however, survived the war.
    Record last modified:
    2004-01-30 00:00:00
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us