Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

John Mandel - May 26, 1981


That you were in hiding?

That we were in hiding.

Can you describe how you went into hiding?

We just uh, went with uh, different people we knew. We, we moved around from one place to another. And my father had some resources and he--we were able to--he was able to sustain us. And uh, fortunately it didn't last much longer than, than um, about three or four months, at which time we came back out of hiding and we resumed our normal lives.

The people you hid with, were they Jewish?

In most part yes. For the most part.

Is there anything that stands out in your memory while you were in hiding?

Yes uh, my brother uh, uh, my younger brother who now lives in Grand Rapids uh, he was uh, going to be bar mitzvah that year and because we went in hiding he could not become bar mitzvah. And to this day he's still not bar mitzvah.

Maybe seventy-three.


Um, [pause] do you remember what you thought when the war broke out?

Oh I thought it was a lot of fun. I remember the day when the Hungarian occupation forces came into our city and--on their, on their horses, they, they were riding, they were cavalry man and uh, a good part of them were riding bicycles. It was a very, when I think back of the way they looked them, it was a very peculiar looking army, but at that time it looked very impressive. And I was about uh, oh, eleven years old then. And I thought it was a lot of fun. Looking through uh, the eyes of an eleven-year-old. Of course later on it became a reality and we realized perhaps it wasn't so much fun after all.

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