Oral History Interview with Ephraim Glaser

Ephraim Glaser, born in 1922 in Cluj, Transylvania, Romania, describes his father, who was an Orthodox shochet, mohel and chazzan; a pogrom that took place in the courtyard of his family’s home when he was five years old; the changes that occurred when the Hungarian occupation began in 1940, including beatings and exclusion of Jews from public schools; attending cheder and yeshiva until 1943, when he was taken to a forced labor camp; escaping in 1944 because of his Aryan appearance and ability to speak German; posing as a Hungarian Christian and joining a German Army unit as a translator; being suspected as a Bolshevist and running away; finding refuge in a factory, whose owner, a baron, hid him in an unused oven; how his sister and her family hid in a Czechoslovakian monastery, but were deceived, returned to their home in August 1941, and sent on the last transport to Auschwitz; how his brother-in-law, an opera singer and cantor in Bratislava, was shot while singing for the Germans; fleeing to Miskolc in the Russian zone and being liberated at the end of 1944; the plundering of the Russians on the local population; returning to Cluj and being active in the Zionist underground movement, Bricha and transporting Jews illegally to Palestine; being accused of being a fascist by former friends who had become communists; going to Palestine and working on a kibbutz; the difficulties encountered among kibbutz members who stigmatized survivors like himself as being cowards who willingly submitted to their own slaughter; remaining silent for many years, not even telling his children about his experiences until later in his life; and how his silence and then finally talking about the Holocaust affected his children.

Date: 08/10/1988
Interviewer: Sylvia Brockmon
Interviewee: Ephraim Glaser
Language: English
Subject: Concentration camp escapes.
Forced labor.
Hiding places.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Romania--Personal narratives.
Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.--Romania.
Orthodox Judaism.
Passing (Identity)
World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from Romania.
Men--Personal narratives.
Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
Israel--Emigration and immigration.
Transylvania (Romania)
Glaser, Ephraim, 1922-
Berihah (Organization)
Location: Cluj, Romania
Miskolc, Hungary
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-ephraim-glaser/
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