Oral History Interview with Gabriel Drimer

Gabriel Drimer was born May 2, 1922 in Dubova, Czechoslovakia. His family owned a bakery. He studied at the yeshiva in Bratislava and later apprenticed to learn tailoring and design. He belonged to B’nai Akiva, an Orthodox Zionist organization. He describes how anti-Jewish measures, confiscations, and deportations were instituted after the Hungarian army invaded in 1940 and relations between Jews and non-Jews changed. He relates an eyewitness account of mass murder of Jews, including his relatives, in Kamenets-Podolski in 1941. He stopped the deportation of his family due to good relations with the local police. Gabriel visited his family in the Taitch [phonetic] Ghetto in October 1943 while he was in a labor camp. His family was killed in Auschwitz except for a brother who died on the Russian front and a brother who died in the Resistance. The captain in charge of his labor camp saved all the prisoners until the Russians could liberate them.

Gabriel relates that a Ukrainian officer tried to kill Gabriel as a Jew, but a Russian officer intervened. Other Russian officers befriended the survivors. Gabriel worked with the Russian military secret police rounding up Nazis and describes their reactions. He returned to Bratislava and describes how he opened his old store, greatly expanded his business, fed survivors passing through, and met and married his wife.
In 1948, after two months of training he left for Israel with other Jews to join the Haganah. He served in the army, later was a sergeant in the police force, established a business and organized an association of 40 farms. He talks about his life and changing conditions in Israel. He emigrated to the United States in 1955 and went into business in New York.

Date: 04/21/1985
Interviewer: Sue Rosenthal
Interviewee: Gabriel Drimer
Language: English
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-gabriel-drimer/