Orosz, Angela

Angi Orosz was born December 21, 1944, in Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of a handful of Jewish babies born in the camp who was able to survive.  Her mother Vera Bein gave birth to Angela in that terrible place, and as Angi says in her testimony she speaks to honour her mother’s determination and fight to survive,

Black, Judith

Judith Nemes Black was born November 15, 1941 in Budapest, Hungary.  She grew up against the backdrop of the war and the mounting restrictions that Hungarian Jews were forced to endure, including the conscription of her father into forced labour.  In 1944 the situation deteriorated for Hungarian Jews; Nazi Germany invaded and the fascist Arrow

Hacker, Alex

Alex Hacker was born in Budapest, Hungary on May 7, 1926.  His father was a successful businessman in the vegetable oil business, and because of that  – as well as Hungary’s alliance with Nazi Germany – Alex and his family and the Jews of Hungary in general were shielded from the immediate brutality of the

Bozek, John

John Bozek was born August 16, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan.  His parents had emigrated from Poland at the turn-of-the-century, and John was the youngest in a family of four siblings.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, but John remembers that his father always had a job, and that the family even

Samet, Judah

Judah Samet was born in Debrecen, Hungary on February 5, 1938.  He attributes his wartime survival to his mother, whose brave actions brought Judah and his siblings through the war.  Hungary’s Jews had been insulated from the worst horrors of the Shoah for most of the war, but all that ended with the German invasion

Vertes, Leslie

Leslie Vertes was born February 18, 1924 in the village of Ajak (Hungary). His father was a shoemaker who worked alongside his wife. Leslie was 14 years old when the family moved to Budapest, where he was unable to finish the last year of high school and go to university due to the prevailing anti-Jewish

Bolgar, Ted

Ted Bolgar was born September 12, 1924 in Sarospatak, a small town in Hungary. The Germans occupied Hungary in March 1944, and in April, the Jews of Sarospatak were forced into the ghetto of a nearby town. When the ghetto was liquidated in June, all the inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz.  Upon arrival, Ted and

Newman, Margaret

Margaret Newman (nee Kaufman) was born March 29, 1923 in Satu Mare, Romania.  She was the second child in a family of eight children, and as the eldest daughter it was her job to maintain a respectable and observant household.  When Satu Mare and the surrounding region were annexed by Hungary, life became more complicated

CPC Oral History Project – Margaret Newman

March 19, 1944 marked a turning point in Hungary’s wartime history; it was the day that Nazi Germany began a direct military occupation of its onetime ally, Hungary. Life for Hungarian Jews, which had been deteriorating under the previous regime, took a dramatic turn for the worse as discriminatory laws gave way to ghettos and

Fazekas, Judith

Judit Fulop was born in the small city of Debrecen, Hungary on September 23, 1928. She grew up an only child in a comfortable middle class environment, attending a Jewish school and then her local high school until the war broke out in 1944, when Jewish students were prohibited from attending public schools. Despite these

Fazekas, Leslie

Leslie Fazekas was born on September 28, 1925, in Debrecen, Hungary.  He grew up in a middle class family in the well-assimilated Jewish community, alongside his younger brother.   He did well in school, and was preparing to go to university, just as wartime anti-Semitic restrictions were beginning to be felt in Hungary.  But his

Mezei, Leslie

Leslie Mezei was born in 1931 in Hungary in a little town called Gödöllő. He had a good relationship with his mother and father. His father was an officer in the Hungarian army, and a lawyer. Leslie lived in a small house and had a tough childhood with some anti-Semitism appearing in his neighborhood and

Nash, Georgine

Georgine Nash was born in Hungary on June 16,1937.  She grew up during the war, and as was the case with most Hungarian Jews, she enjoyed a distance from the terrible conflict, and the from the terrible Shoah that was commencing in the neighbouring countries.  Georgine remembers her father being taken away to a labour

Engel, Yolanda

Yolanda Engel (nee Lebovics) was born December 11, 1937.  She grew up in wartime Hungary, sheltered from events until the German occupation of 1944. Her father had been conscripted into the labour battalions by that time, and the remaining family members were taken into the ghetto. Shortly after that, Yolanda’s mother was taken away to

Speare, Mary

Mary Speare was born in Budapest, Hungary but has lived in Canada for over 60 years.  She went through WW2 and experienced Nazis persecution against Jews.  Her father was taken to a labour camp early on, as the family’s fortunes began to unravel.  Mary was fortunate to be spared deportation to Auschwitz as her mother put

Gasper, Lidia

Lidia Gasper was born in 1928 in Szekszard, Hungary. Before the Holocaust, she had a good life. She had other Jewish friends in her town, her father had a mill that gave them water, and she had a bat mitzvah. She had to go to another town to go to school, and this is where

Bensimon, Marian

Marian Bensimon was born in Czechoslovakia; she was 6 years old in 1942 when her family moved to Budapest, Hungary.   Marian’s parents sensed the danger on the way; her father was taken to a labour camp and the family placed in a ghetto, so Marian’s mother arranged to have her daughters taken to a convent, where they were hidden

Szabo, Paul

Paul Szabo was born in 1933 Hungary. His family was made up of his mother, father and sister, who was 3 years older than he. Paul’s father was a manager in charge of a small factory manufacturing plumbing fixtures. His mother was an accountant before the war, working for a pharmaceutical company. Paul and his

Olsson, Eva

Eva Olsson grew up in Hungary, born into a Jewish family in Satu Mare, Hungary. She remembers the family’s Hasidic traditions, and the poverty and simplicity of her early life. Like other Hungarian Jews, Eva was comparatively isolated from the war raging all around them; they heard rumours and such, but as Hungary was allied

Kuti, Steve

Steve Kuti is a survivor of the Shoah from Budapest, Hungary, one with a remarkable story to tell.  He remembers growing up in relative privilege; his parents did well and were accepted in the larger community.  But with changes in Hungary’s wartime government, restrictions came into play, and Steve remembers his family being pushed to

Berkovitz, Helen

Helen Berkovitz was born in 1921 in Tacsava, Czechoslovakia. The eldest of three sisters, Helen lost both parents in Auschwitz and was interned with her sisters in Bergen-Belsen and Theresientadt. After liberation, Helen met her husband at a collection point for the camps near the Austrian border, and they went through the DP camp life together as

Gador, George

George Gador was born in Czechoslovakia in 1925. When the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia, it was split into two areas.  The area near Hungary was where George and his family lived. When George grew up he learnt how to speak both Hungarian and Czechoslovakian.  Later on, he was captured by Nazis and was taken to a

Mason, Michael

Michael Mason was born in Czechoslovakia in 1928 and grew up in Hungary, with the name Miklos Friedman.  He has three siblings, Laci, Magda and Freddi.  His life was interrupted by the reality of World War Two, when Germany’s occupation saw his family lose its business and its rights of citizenship.  A tough kid, Michael

Salsberg, Kitty

Kitty Salsberg was born in Budapest, Hungary, on November 14, 1932. Orphaned after the war, Kitty and her younger sister, Ellen, immigrated to Canada in 1948 through the Canadian Jewish Congress’s War Orphans Project. Kitty and her younger sister, Ilonka, arrived in Canada with painful memories from the Holocaust, which took both of their parents.

Scott, George

George Scott was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930. He had a relatively big and nice family. “Everything should be okay, but experience changes people, “ he said. The Holocaust turned him into a reflective, quiet boy, puzzled by many things. He recorded that in 1943, his life started to change. All Jews in Hungary

Reti, Andy

Andy Reti was born in Budapest, Hungary in July 1942.  He is a child survivor from the Shoah.  His mother, grandmother, grandfather and he survived the horrors of the war through good fortune and grit, and immigrated to Canada shortly thereafter.  Andy has worked as a cab driver and an author and was a museum

Hilf, Magda

Magda Hilf was born in Maly Kevesd, Czechoslovakia, in 1921. Her early years consist of many fond memories, with family and friends and books, all in a rural setting.  After 1938’s Munich Accord, the situation changed:  when the Hungarians took over her region, the restrictions began.  Her father lost his business, and he and so