I was born in1930 in a town called Trencin, in what was then Czechoslovakia -- a country that no longer exists. It is now called the Slovak Republic. I was the only child of well-to-do Jewish couple. My father was the owner of a retail store, a kind of department store, situated in a prime location of the town's principal square. We lived in a large, comfortable apartment above the store. I grew up bi-lingual -- fluent in German, in addition to Slovak. I attended the local Jewish elementary school where, since the age of six, I also studied Hebrew. Further, from the age of eight I received private lessons in English.
This peaceful existence was shattered in 1939 when Hitler's Germany annexed the Czech part of the country, with Slovakia becoming a quasi-independent country governed by a native fascist party, firmly allied to Nazi Germany. A basic tenet of this government was its virulent anti-Semitism. A series of anti Jewish laws was soon promulgated, ultimately stripping us of our property and all civil rights.
In 1942 theSlovak government started deporting the Jewish population to German concentration camps. Between March and November of that year, out of a Jewish population of close to 90,000, some 60,000 were deported -- the vast majority to their annihilation in extermination camps, principally Auschwitz. In my book you can read how my family escaped deportation in 1942; and how we were finally caught in the net and deported in October, 1944. I describe this desperate period in my book: how I was separated from my family and how I survived a succession of six German concentration camps.
In 2006 I published my memoir entitled "1000:1 ODDS." My current memoir is an expanded version of my earlier book, now published under the new title, "MEMORIES OF EVIL." I immigrated to the U.S in November, 1946. I mark this event as my rebirth and the beginning of my new, current life. After a fruitful and satisfying 68 years in the U.S., the travail of my childhood years -- of what I call my previous life -- ought to be long forgotten. And yet survivors of the Holocaust cannot forget, cannot forgive. Vestiges of our trauma will remain with us to our last breath. If you wish to come a little closer to understanding the Holocaust, read my modest book. It is far from the whole truth, for that is beyond human understanding. But it is nothing but the truth, based on fragments of my memory, supplemented by careful historical research.