Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Kahan - April 29, 1982


Born in 1928, in Gheorgheni, Romania, David Kahan was part of a large extended family, consisting of his mother, father, several siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. In April 1944, the Germans invaded Hungary and immediately began the full-scale persecution of Hungarian Jewry. The Kahan family was detained by Hungarian Gendarmerie and placed in a school room for several days. After their initial detainment, the family was shipped to an ad hoc ghetto in Szaszregen. The family remained incarcerated in a brick factory in Szaszregen for approximately four weeks and were then shipped to Auschwitz. Upon arrival in Auschwitz, David was separated from his family, who were gassed and David was shaved, deloused and held for future use on work details. Of the camp itself, David remembers very few details. After approximately four weeks, David was shipped to the Müldorf labor camp in Southern Germany. While there, David worked for Organization Todt, clearing trees for the construction of an underground airplane factory. David contacted typhus after he was liberated and was hospitalized in the DP Camp at Feldafing. Following his recovery, David showed no desire to return to Romania and made his way to the United States, arriving in New York in May 1949. From New York, David moved to Minneapolis and eventually made his way to Detroit in ca. 1950. He married in 1953 and had three sons.

Link to Portraits of Honor Project

  1. Introduction
  2. Education
  3. Family
  4. Religious Life
  5. Relations with Non-Jews
  6. Zionists
  7. Outbreak of War
  8. Hungarian Annexation
  9. Hungarian Rule
  10. Hungarian Political Leaders
  11. Budapest
  12. Labor Battalions
  13. German Invasion
  14. Round-Ups
  15. Ghetto
  16. Transport to Auschwitz
  17. Conditions on the Train
  18. Arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau
  19. Delousing
  20. Conditions in Birkenau
  21. Kapos
  22. Sanitary Conditions
  23. Transport to Mühldorf
  24. The SS
  25. Physical and Mental Scars
  26. Thoughts on Survival
  27. Effects of Holocaust
  28. Liberation
  29. Feldafing
  30. Reunited with Brother
  31. Immigration to America
  32. Talking about Experiences

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