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Studio portrait of Malvina Grunfeld

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 95572

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    Studio portrait of Malvina Grunfeld
    Studio portrait of Malvina Grunfeld


    Studio portrait of Malvina Grunfeld
    1934 May 03
    Trebisov, [Kosice] Czechoslovakia ?
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Malvina Burstein

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Malvina Burstein
    Second Provenance: Miriam Burstein

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Malvina Burstein (born Malvina Grunfeld) is the daughter of Salamon and Mali (nee Frieder) Grunfeld. She was the youngest of eight children and was born on April 17, 1913 in Trebisov, Slovakia, and was the youngest in a family of eight children. One sister, Sylvia, came to America in the 1920's, and her brother, Irwin, emigrated in 1939. Malvina participated in a number of Jewish organizations including Betar, Agudat Yisrael, Mizrachi, and HaShomer HaTzair. After the break-up of Czechoslovakia, in 1940 Slovakia became an independent Fascist state closely allied with Nazi Germany. Jewish-Gentile relations in Trebiov quickly deteriorated. Jewish stores were boycotted, swastikas appeared on Jewish property, all Jews were required to wear a yellow Star of David, and Jewish boys were taken for forced labor. Malvina hid to escape round-up and deportation with other single Jewish girls her age. In the spring of 1942, Malvina's family decided that she should flee to Budapest, Hungary. You could be Jewish in Hungary, however not a refugee. Walking to the Hungarian border, Malvina reached the home of her aunt in Hungary. There she received the Romanian-Jewish identification papers of her aunt's maid, Lea Engel, and with a little money, also from her aunt, she went to Budapest. There she found a place to stay and work. When the Nazis entered Budapest in the spring of 1944 and began the same anti-Jewish actions she had witnessed in her hometown, Malvina went to see a family friend, Josef Adler, who provided her with new identification papers which she used until the end of the war. Her new name was Gizi Kovacs (Hungarian-Christian). Among the friends she made in Budapest were the brothers, Tibor and Wily Salgo. Tibor changed his last name to Slezak. During the war, he called the Nazi-controlled Hungarian government printing office posing as a Nazi general and asked that 500 work papers (for the Pantokemia Chemical and Button factory) be printed up and he was going to send someone over to pick up the papers. Tibor asked Malvina to go and she went three times to the printing office, for a total of 1500 papers. She turned the papers over to the brothers who gave out the papers to Jews in Budapest in 1944. When the war ended, Malvina stayed in Szeged, Hungary, before returning to Trebisov, to look for her family. From her immediate family, no one returned. She was reunited with her cousins. After the war, she was in a DP camp in Leipheim, Germany, and she also stayed in Munich. In 1947, Malvina sailed aboard the 'Ernie Pyle' to the United States where she joined her sister, Sylvia, and her brother, Irwin. In America, she changed her name to Malvina Greenfield. She later married Max Burstein.
    Record last modified:
    2010-06-24 00:00:00
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