Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Adele Sandel - [n.d.]

Avoiding First Transport

Are these married people, too, between eighteen and thirty-two?


Married people?

Yes, but I forgot to tell you the most important thing and if you believe or not, we were the only two girls from about eighty girls who were--who didn't go with this, with these girls to uh, to Germany or to Poland.


My father had all the connections. He had the best friend--his best friend was the mayor of the city, the doctor who had things to do, you know, you had to have a doctor. The--all the big shots from the city were his friends. They came all into the bank and he was dealing with them and he just was running and he said, "You have to save my two girls. I don't have girls to give for nobody, for no work and for no Germany and for no Poland. What should I do with my two girls?" So, my sister, they send--they, they bought for money papers, Gentile papers, that she is a Gentile girl. Her real name was Mary Deutsch, but she got the paper Mary Pavlova was her name and they sent her up to the capital city, Bratislava, was the capital city, Pressburg. And then they even found her a job in a bank. There also was another bank in that city where I lived, a sister bank, and my father was best friends with his other banker so he found her a job in a bank in that city. So, she was safe already. So, what should they do with me? So, this doctor said--we didn't have a hospital in our little town but about fifty miles from us was a larger city so he said, let's take um, um, that--me, to that hospital and he will, he will say that I'm so sick that I cannot make this transport. Now it came in my mind how--what you call those when you, you make a...


...a transport. So, really, he took me with his own car to this town, Humenné was the name, and they put me in the hospital and for money he went--he, the doctor--paid off a nurse and she stole a renkim a picture, a um, you know, a rem...how do you call a picture from a chest...


X-ray with a big hole in it like uh, a quarter that it is my sick lung and that I am so um, very sick with tuberculosis that I am not capable to go to this transport. And I had to remain in this hospital because I am badly ill so there I was for about two weeks. Through all that thing they took all these girls went away because even from our own friends and neighbors it was terrible. They--those girls went and I didn't. But, then the hospital said no more. He--they can't um, accommodate me no more so he brought me back. He came again with his car, this doctor, and he brought me back home and they were hiding me at home. Nobody knew that I was home.

Do you remember his name--the doctor's name?

Dr. ??? Yeah.


Yeah. So, that was that. So, both of us were saved. It was from the miracles, the miracle because, like I said, have you ever been in a small city? Did you ever live in a small city?


Never? Did you?

Yes, I did.


In Augusta, Georgia.

It's a very small city?

That's a small city, yeah. It's not a town, but it is a small city.

How big is it?

When I was there they had about uh, uh, 25,000 people.

But this was about six, seven, eight thousand, that's it. Everybody knew what you ate for dinner last night. You know what I mean?


That was the type of the city. So, they knew that they--they were asking where we are--where my sister is and where am I? That they knew the Jews--the friends--where, where are we? Why didn't we go? So, it was...

How did they know you didn't go to the transport?

They didn't know because every day--because they were there and how many were there? How many uh, young girls are there in, in--between 800. They could have been seventy, eighty? So they were there by the transfer. They said goodbye so they didn't see us. They knew. So, we had to be--we lived through hell but we were um, I was, I was hiding in the house and, you know, they just brought me food. And, you know, my parents but that went for weeks.

Did you ever uh, fear that some of your fellow Jews would uh, tell on you out of, out of jealousy?

I don't remember how that was. I don't think so because we were very good friends with everybody and they wouldn't dare to do that. I don't think so. And nobody knew that it was so horrible there. Everybody thought they went for work so they went for work.

Did your sister have to come home, too?

She didn't come home at all.

Oh, okay.

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