The mass deportation of Jews began in March 1942. Slovak Jews were some of the first prisoners to be deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The archive includes testimonies of prisoners who survived from that time (e.g. Ria Elias, interview code 25023, Portuguese). Several testimonies discuss the Slovak escapees from
A unique aspect of Slovak Holocaust history is the activity of the "Working Group" (Pracovná Skupina). This organization was made up of members of the Ústredna Zidov (the Slovak Judenrat) who, through a variety of methods including bribery, attempted to save Slovak Jews from deportation. Partly as a result of their efforts, the deportations were stopped in October 1942. The Working Group played a major role in getting the camps Sered', Nováky, and Vyhne designated as labor camps so that their Jewish specialist workforces would be safe from deportation.
The USC Shoah Foundation's archive includes interviews of Andrew Steiner (interview code 5154, English), the last living member of Working Group; Emanuel Frieder (interview code 7202, Hebrew), brother of rabbi Armin Frieder of the Working Group; and Gideon Frieder (interview code 22840, English), rabbi Frieder's son. Vladimír Bachnár (interview code 24550, Slovak), a member of the communist underground, discusses his activities in the Working Group as an insider in the deportations department of the Judenrat. The archive also includes the testimony of Ernest [Arnost] Rosin (interview code 32034, German), a Slovak Jew who escaped from
Transit camps/deportation centers such as
At least 200 interviews include discussions of the Slovak National Uprising of 1944 and its subsequent collapse. The archive contains a number of interviews with partisans who fought in the uprising. Survivors who participated were able to remain in
The Slovak National Uprising is discussed especially in the Slovak-language interviews. Among them, Alexander Bachnár (interview code 14754, Slovak; cousin of the aforementioned Vladimír Bachnár) was one of the Jewish partisan commanders of the uprising; another Jewish partisan figure is Bernard Knezo (interview code 17272, Slovak).
Among the rarer experiences recounted in the testimonies are those of the wartime Slovakian administration of a small area of southern
Among the non-Jewish interviewees is Anton Rasla (interview code 20285, Slovak), who was the chief prosecutor in the postwar trial of Jozef Tiso. An example of a Slovak rescuer is Stefan Pancik (interview code 37777, Slovak), whose family protected Andrew Steiner and others.
Southern Slovakia (Felvidék)
Over 1,500 interviewees were born in the area of southern Slovakian border around Kosice that came under Hungarian rule after March 1939 and was known in Hungarian as Felvidék. Hungarian authorities immediately enacted several anti-Jewish laws. The Hungarian army began to draft men of age into the forced labor service (Munkaszolgálat), a section of the army that performed menial and dangerous tasks on the front lines without weaponry (at least 1,700 interviews in total describe this experience). Conscripts to the forced labor battalions often avoided deportation to Auschwitz, instead being marched to camps in
The first deportations took place in summer 1941. Hungarian authorities expelled a large number of Jews without Hungarian citizenship to the Skala and Kolomyja area of southwestern
The area experienced the full force of the Final Solution after the German invasion of
Almost all of these interviews of witnesses born in the southern Slovakia (Felvidék) region were conducted in other parts of the world and in various languages, attesting to the widespread emigration of the surviving Jewish community from the area.
The Shoah Foundation Institute conducted 664 interviews in
See also: Czechoslovakia
Selected Indexing Terms
Banské Belé (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Bratislava-Patronka (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Freiwillige Schutzstaffel (FS)
German invasion of Slovakia (August 28-29, 1944)
Ilava (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Nitra (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Nováky (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Poprád (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Senica (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Sered (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Slovak concentration camps (generic)
Slovak forced labor battalions
Slovak National Uprising (Aug 28 - Oct 27, 1944)
Slovak occupation conditions
Slovak police and security forces
Slovak resistance fighters
Slovak resistance groups
Topolcany pogrom (September 1945)
Vyhne (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Weissmandel, Michael Dov
Zilina (Slovakia, Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)
Bauer, Yehuda. Jews for Sale?: Nazi-Jewish Negotiations, 1933-1945, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.
Fatran, Gila. Boj o prežitie, Bratislava : SNM--Múzeum židovskej kultúry, 2007.
Nižňanský, Eduard. Nacizmus, holokaust, slovenský štát, Bratislava: Kalligram, 2010.