Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard Hirsch - June 29, 1982


An interview with Bernard Hirsch, a Holocaust survivor, conducted by Charlene Green.Bernard Hirsch was born in Petrovce, Slovakia in 1920 and lived there with his parents, two brothers and five sisters. At the beginning of World War II, Bernard was drafted into the Slovakian Army as a laborer. In 1942, just before the Jews in the Slovakian Army were going to be sent to Auschwitz, a Gentile officer warned Bernard and arranged for him to be discharged from the army and sent home. Arriving home in Petrovce, Bernard enlisted the help of a Gentile neighbor to keep him hidden. He stayed in the woods with other Jews and Partisans until the Russians liberated Slovakia in January 1945. After liberation, Bernard moved to Košice where he met his future wife. Together they moved to the United States in 1949.

Link to Portraits of Honor Project

  1. Introduction
  2. Life Before the War
  3. Family
  4. Family Split Up by Germans
  5. Religious Life
  6. Anti-Semitism
  7. Life in the Army
  8. Deserting the Army
  9. Deserting the Army II
  10. Hiding with Gentile Friend
  11. Hiding in Petrovce
  12. Joining the Partisans
  13. Pretending to be Gentile
  14. Germans Search for Jews in Petrovce
  15. Life After Liberation
  16. Life Hiding in the Woods
  17. Learning of Parent's Fate
  18. Surviving While Hiding
  19. Getting Help from Teacher
  20. Revenge After the War
  21. Memories of Hiding
  22. Life in Partisans and Slovakian Army
  23. The Partisans
  24. Leaving the Partisans
  25. Learning of the Holocaust
  26. Life Hiding in the Woods
  27. Reactions to the War
  28. Being Ill
  29. Moving to Koŝice
  30. Meeting Future Wife
  31. Moving to United States
  32. Starting a Family
  33. Religious Life in the United States
  34. Sharing Experience
  35. Sharing Experience II
  36. Memories
  37. Having Nightmares
  38. On Being a Survivor
  39. Feeling Guilt
  40. Conclusion

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