Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zoltan Rubin - January 12, 1983

Failure to Find Parents

Can you tell me what happened when you didn't find the money, what happened then?

What happened then...so, so as I said, I had a couple hundred dollars, and I had, I had a crystal, a big, big crystal chandelier, which was worth lots of money. And I told the guy, I'm giving you the $200, I'll give you the crystal chandelier and, and I'll and I... You know my father, let's get him out, then we'll take care of it. So, okay, I came to Žilina , I had my release. In the morning I came to Žilina and in the evening, at two o'clock in the morning they, they took him to Kovačovce. Two o'clock at night they took him and in the morning they were released. They were released, they called their names out. But since they weren't there, some other family came out. In other words, this was a setup. This, this guy, who called my father Feter Mendel he called him. Uncle, Uncle Mendel. Mendel was my father's name and feter is uncle in Jewish. So, he called him Feter Mendel, and in the meantime he sent him away because he doubled, he get double...he got my money and he collected from the other family. It was, it was, the truth is when they were already taken away, it would have been a sin not to take out another family, if you're looking from the other side. You know what I mean? If you look, there are two ways you can look at it. It would have been a shame to waste the white paper, the release. So, they released some other family. I don't blame the other family. I just blame myself that I didn't have the money. So, so they took 'em away. And I remained in Žilina on the Gentile papers. I still didn't have the most important paper is that uh, I had all the papers except the paper which says uh, uh, identification card with your picture. So, I got acquainted with a girl, with a Volksdeutsche, with a... She was living in Žilina . She had a, she had a German father and a Slovak mother. She worked at the, at this office where they were issuing this, this paper, this identification cards. We became very friendly and she knew that I'm Jewish. I revealed it. And she gave me the paper. And I lived there 'til 1944, then I joined, then, when the under the partisans started the Slovak uh, uprising, against the Germans started, so we joined, in summer of '44. Summer of '44, then we went down and then when the uprising was uh, subdued, I fell in prison camp, prison, to the Germans, as a Gentile.

Let me stop you for a moment. Let's um, uh, your father's name again, tell me you father's name.

Emanuel Rubin, Emanuel, Mendel Rubin.

And your mother's name?

Chava Hermina.

What was her maiden name?


All right, we should at least have the names. The name of the man, your friend who uh, who gave you his papers?

Santo, I still have the paper. As a matter of fact, I have all the papers exc...all of the papers here, I brought them along. I have the birth certificate, I have the uh, citizenship, I have all the papers here with me. I carry, as a matter of fact, after the war, I was in contact with him. I lost contact with him just the last two years, I don't know what happened to him, I think he passed away already...

He's still in uh, Czechoslovakia?

In Czechoslovakia, yeah.

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