Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Schleifer - August 1, 1982


This interview with Alex Schleifer was recorded on August 1st, 1982 at his home in Oak Park, Michigan. The interviewer is Arthur Kirsch.

All right, if you would, please uh, state your name and spell it.

Alexander Schleifer. S-c-h-l-e-i-f-e-r.

Where were you born, Alex?

I was born in uh, Kosice, Czechoslovakia.

Could you spell that?

Uh, K-o-s-i-c-e, Czechoslovakia. C-z...do you want to go further?

No, I don't need Czechoslovakia. The reason I asked is because at a later date we are going to have these transcribed by a secretary and she doesn't always know [laughs] what the towns are. What was your father's occupation?

My father. We owned a bus concession between two cities, between uh, Sobrance and Uzhorod. Actually, before the war, there was, between Michalovce and Uzhorod, and...

Go ahead...

And, then uh, the Hungarian took part away from uh, Czechoslovakia so we moved to Sobrance and that was Hungary. Michalovce stayed uh, uh, Czechoslovakia.

When you say a bus concession, describe it a little bit, what that is.

Well, he owned uh, three busses which one they were uh-huh, on schedule uh, they had uh, things between them and the two cities and he owned those.

Was he a driver himself?

No, he wasn't a driver. He was the owner.

So, he employed drivers.

He employed forty drivers and uh, helpers [pause] mechanics.

Were the drivers and mechanic--were the drivers Jewish or most were...

No, most were Gentile.

If you would, tell me the size of your family back then.

Well, actually, my father didn't have a big family but my mother had. My mother had uh, four sisters and four brothers, which, one uh, which after the war, only one survived, one of the brothers. The rest of them they all killed in concentration camps.

Any cousins that you remember?

Well, from the cousins, actually from the eight uh, uh, actually seven aunts and uncles, I have uh, survived, actually. We have two, two, to three, four, four of us. The rest of them, all the cousins were killed also. And each, each uncle and aunt had minimum two to three children.

Did they live nearby?

Well, they lived, some lived in Berehovo. Some of them lived in Munkacs and uh; some lived in Gotte. In other words, there wasn't exactly that far away uh, maybe uh, thirty, forty kilometers from our city.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn