Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hugo Marom - February 8, 2008


Can you tell me your name please and where you were born?

Yes, well, I was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, which is the capital of Moravia and my name is...was Hugo Meisl, M-E-I-S-L. And today it's Marom, which is uh, M-A-R-O-M. And the reason for the change of the name was that I was serving in the, in the air force and was sent abroad and at that time Ben Gurion in the 50's thought that uh, had actually instructed not to change my name because Meisel is one of the oldest Jewish names in Czechoslovakia and my ancestors go back more than a thousand years in, in Prague but due to instructions which are given to officers and uh, some lady read my...received my passport one day prior to my going abroad to bring a new aircraft to Israel uh, she decided that Meisl was, was German and changed my name to Marom...without asking, so...and then I stayed with this name for seven years and ever since. By the way, Meisl is a chisel in German and it is an anagram of the word ismel in Hebrew, which is a chisel. So, in a good German dictionary you will find meisl O-R-G, means origin, H-B-R, Hebrew, iseml, I-S-M-E-L, anagram, okay? So that's why it's...so it basically...and they were, they were jewelers. The original Meisls were jewelers. They were brought from the Lowlands by king of...by the king to Prague.

Not coffee makers?

Uh, no that's Meinl...

That's Meinl.

...that's Meinl with an N. Very good, very good. And uh, but they uh, originated in the Hapsburg Empire in Vienna, if I'm not mistaken...the Meinls. Anyhow, getting back to the Meisls...it's spelled in many different ways and, and you'll find that the...that one of my ancestors set up the synagogue on Meisl Street in Prague, which is called...it's one of the oldest synagogues in Prague in the Jewish Quarter...and it's called the Meisl Synagogue. And sometime in the 17th century according to the cemetery stones uh, the, the family moved to Brno for whatever reason so my great grandparents are buried in Brno already...my father's side. And my mother's side...they, they also come from Bohemia...from a small town in the southern part of Bohemia, which is called in German Schüttenhofen, which in Czech is called Sušice. And uh, it's very famous for uh, for...it's in the woo...in the wooded area of Bohemia and it's famous for...it's in the area of Ceské Budejovice which is famous for Hardtmuth pencils and uh, and matches and that sort of products which are made of wood. Long answer to a short question.

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