Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Roth - February 4, 1983

Fate of Family


This sister had two children, her husband and none of them came back. This sister had three children--there is a story in this sister. She married, she married--her husband comes from where my brother lived in Slovakia and because--the part in which we were living in, which was Hungary; because he was from Slovakia, they were deported in 1941. They were just taken away from the house and taken to a area in southern Ukraine where people were just killed. The Hungarians uh, and the Germans and the Ukrainian uh, uh, militia, they just had a--it was a free for all, they just killed them. But our family mounted a, a expedition, we hired a Ger...a, a Hungarian officer. They gave him a lot of money. And he went back into that area and searched with her husband and found them, both her and the children. My sister made it back and the children made it back, but her husband was killed in the process. And she stayed for another two years, until they were rounded up with me together and they still perished later on.

So she didn't survive?

She didn't survive, no. Neither did the children. So she had three children, husband and they were brought back from the brink through our uh, efforts. This sister--she was my favorite uh, her two children didn't make it. Now there was another sister who is alive, in Dallas. She's doing fine. And me. So there were Ettiu, Rosie, Mindu, oh there was a brother. There was a brother, he also had two children, his wife's name was Pessie, they didn't make it. And my mother--there is no picture, survived. Not even a picture of her. We have no picture, not even my brother in Israel. And we searched and there is not a picture available of my mother. My father, yes, there is one. I have one at home on the wall. Because, because my brother had it in Slovakia, otherwise we wouldn't have that. But, from my uh, from my brother Abba and from my mother, there is no picture available. And then there was this brother, who didn't come back. It is very interesting. He was drafted into the so-called Hungarian Army work battalions, maybe a year before the round-up of the Jews. And he came back two weeks before. I don't know if I told you that the last time. He came back two weeks before a totally destroyed, sick person. Sick--home. And when they were rounding us up, I thought--we thought, that he would get special treatment after all, he was in the work battalions of the army so to speak. He was the first to go. Just like any other healthy person, they didn't give him a stretcher and he couldn't walk. And he had a wife. I have a picture of his wife someplace here. He had a wife, also three children, none of those came back.

Tell me about this, this tombstone here.

My brother, this one. Just passed away less than two years ago in Israel. And he had this all set. This is his tombstone and on the bottom here. The tombstone is up here. And here he had--there's a lid to cover his grave, he had listed all of our brothers and sisters, mother, who did not--who perished in the concentration camp. Do you want me to read it?


Tzeun L'Nefesh Sh'Nispu B' Shoah. In remembrance to the souls who perished in the Holocaust. Eema, my mother, Sarah-Rivka bat Avraham-Abba Hakohein and that is the father of my mother, who is also buried over there. And then he goes on to list Achoti, my sister, Esther ???...

And children...

That eh, that is my sister Esther and her husband Yehuda V'yaldeheim except for one, that is the one that I showed you, this is the one who survived. There is one of the children Ester and Yehuda. And he also is sprouting a whole new family in Israel. And then there is Ahoti, my sister, Reizel yeladeem, and this is--where is Reizel?

I think that's all I have...

Oh here, this is Reizel and A...Achi Shlomo ??? yeladeem and this is Shlomo. And Achoti Mindl. My sister Mindl, oobaalah Mendle. His n...his name was Mendle, and he was Mendle and his name was Mendle V'yaldeheim--and this is Mendle. And Achi Avraham that's the one we do not have a picture of. Abba. Avraham-Abba yeladeem Pessi. Her name was Pessi ???

Yeladeem means?

Yeladeem means children, children.

How many do you think in the immediate family does that represent?

Ok. Ettiu had three, one survived, that is two. Mindu had three, that's five. Reizel had three, that's eight. And Abba had two, that's ten. What did I leave out, Shloimey, Shloimey had two, that's twelve. Of their...



Plus the parents.

Plus the parents.

Let, let me ask you a little bit more. Tell me more about your family, you didn't mention your father.

My father was a, a lawyer. Uh, at that time, you didn't have to be a doctor to be a lawyer. You worked under a doctor, a lawyer, he was an attorney. Uh, he worked for one--if I remember his name was Doctor Monk. He was an attorney, he, he, he tried cases in, in, in--I remember the, the, the Okresny something, the, the, the court. It was right next to the building where, where his office was. And uh, he was a World War I veteran. There was a picture of him sitting, going up to the northern front, just as clear as I, I can still see it, sitting in the open door of a car with his feet dangling and his rifle over his shoulder. I don't know, I could--I couldn't uh, couldn't date it as far as the year, but it was between '14 and '18. Uh, he was a very soft spoken person, very quiet; I was his apple of the eye of course. I found out that later when uh, I happen to slip on ice and split my head here and started bleeding and uh, and my mother told me to never do that again, because my father was--he had high blood pressure. And he shouldn't be get excited because he was very protective of me. But he died before I was bar mitzvahed. He died at home. He died of a, of a stroke.

What year was that?

I think it was '37.

So it was before the Hungarians came?

Oh yes, it was before. He died in '37, and he was 53. He was 53 at that time. In fact, I wish I had it here, I should have come more prepared, but we have, there is in existence now, a diary of a mohel--I don't know if I told you about that--you know a mohel? A mohel is a man who circumcises. There is a diary that stretches from two or three generations, for 100 years. It's in existence now, here, in fact Zwi Stieger has it. I don't know if you have ever met Zwi Stieger, you know Zwi Stieger, he has it. I have a copy of it--a Xerox copy of it. But that stretches for over 100 years, three generations of mohels, every person who was circumcised is entered over there and my father and my grandfather is in that diary. Exactly when, where, who or who the sandak was, you know what a sandak is? The guy who helps hold the baby. Who the sandak was, who the mother was and who the mohel was, of course, and where it was, where it was performed.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn