TABLE OF CONTENTS
Concordia University Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies
Copyright © Veronika Schwartz, 2001
(town in Hungary), Hungary, anti-Semitism, Arrow-Cross, Kisvárda
ghetto, Birkenau, Auschwitz, Russian soldiers, rape, Ujpest (town
in Hungary), DP camp, Windsheim (DP camp in Germany), Haoved
(Zionist group), Munich, Frankfurt, New York, HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Services), Montreal, Canada.
was born in 1927 in Kisvárda, a small town in Hungary with
a Jewish population of 4,000. Her parents were Orthodox Jews and
kept kosher; she had two sisters and a brother. Her parents owned
a general store. Provides vivid descriptions of her childhood and
her many relatives. Attended public school, but also received Hebrew
lessons. In 1939, during her first year of high school, she experienced
some anti-Semitism. Her uncle flees to Canada that year, escaping
local anti-Semites and the authorities. Her father is spared forced
labour because of his health. Describes rise in anti-Semitism and
attacks on parents home and store by Arrow Cross thugs. By
1944, conditions have worsened; she and family are forced into the
ghetto in Kisvárda. In May 1944, they are sent by cattle
car to Birkenau. There she was separated from her parents and sisters,
never to see them again. Author is sent to Auschwitz. Describes
the torture of being shaved and stripped naked, and the horrible
conditions of the camp. Her first cousin is also in Auschwitz. Almost
always together, they are sent to work on a farm 3 _ hours away
from Auschwitz. Tells of awareness that Russians were close by.
She and cousin are sent to another concentration camp. Describes
starvation conditions; cousin is beaten by SS officers. In winter
1945, they are sent on a forced march. She and cousin pretend to
be dead and are left behind. The Russians liberate the area. Witnesses
the rape of a local girl by a Russian soldier; she and cousin in
fear of being raped themselves. They are aided by a Russian officer
who noticed their situation. In May 1945 she and cousin return to
Hungary. Author learns that her brother had survived and joins him
in Ujpest. She meets Miklós Mandel and they become engaged.
His parents were also murdered in Auschwitz. They decide to leave
Hungary. Joined by her brother, they go to Austria, then to Germany.
She marries Miklós in Windsheim, a DP camp in Germany. Her
brother obtains documents allowing them to get into the United States.
They arrive in New York and are helped by HIAS. They join her uncle
in Montreal. Describes the many hardships she and her family experienced
in building a new life in Canada. Describes in some detail experiences
with name changes and associated difficulties.
thanks to my husband, Nick, and all our sons for helping me out
with certain dates and information. Most of all, I am indebted to
David, our youngest son, who encouraged me to write as long as it
didn't affect my health. My memoirs were hand-written. From there,
David did everything: editing, typing, and providing the necessary
materials and so on. Thank you, David. Your work is very much appreciated.
Finally, I wish to thank the Editors of the Memoirs of Holocaust
Survivors in Canada Series, Professors Mervin Butovsky and Kurt
Jonassohn, for their editorial effort and concern.