Jewish survivors of the Holocaust
Haber, Nadiva (1 of 7) The Living Memory of the Jewish Community
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The Living Memory of the Jewish Community
Haber, Nadiva, 1925-1992 (speaker, female)
Livshin, Rosalyn (speaker, female)
Interview is not complete due to death of interviewee. Nadiva Stern was born in Senta, Yugoslavia. Jewish Hungarian parents, both involved in glass and porcelain business. Senta was Jewish orthodox town, Nadiva had Jewish education. Describes the different levels of Judaism within town. Experiences of anti-semitism at school. Recalls an organisation similar to Hitler Youth. Hungarian occupation; father forced to clean streets. Nadiva was a Zionist; dreamed of Israel. Fate of relatives in Holocaust; some taken to Auschwitz including twin cousins who survived. Describes grandparents, house, childhood, reading, folk remedies for illnesses, typhoid. Describes Jewish weddings, klezmer bands, dancing. Jewish festivals, food. Recalls Hungarians coming into town, searching their home for partisans. Killing of several Jews. Followed by massacre in Novi Sad then in Stari Beisej. Jews in Senta warned to leave; brother and mother fled to Malco, Hungary. Under Hungarians, things weren't too bad; didn't believe reports of Auschwitz, Treblinka etc. In 1944, Germans marched in; everything changed. Curfews, Yellow Star, home detention. Nadiva's family could produce documents proving they were Hungarian. They were taken by Germans to Seged, then Bojar. Describes journey to Kensendorf (?) and then to various other selection camps. Spent 2-4 months in each. Katau was worst. Augenberg better. Steinbruch; stone quarry. Father had hernia, taken to Jewish hospital in Vienna; story of contacting Eichmann. Nadiva eventaully came to Vienna, learned to be a nurse in 6 weeks. Worked in hospital, and lived there in room with her family. Hospital slowly liquidated; people taken by Eichmann to Theresienstadt; no one safe. Later, hearing about Auschwitz, felt ashamed, guilty; why had she been so lucky? Life in camps had been hard but people weren't killed.