Oral History Interview with Miro Auferber

Miro Auferber was interviewed in Haifa, Israel in Serbical Yiddish which his interviewer translated into English. He was born in Osijek, Croatia, November 22, 1913. His father was a manufacturer and his family was active in the Jewish community and belonged to Zionist organizations. Miro was taken to forced labor, his parents perished in Auschwitz, and his pregnant wife was killed by the Ustashi. He also served as a reserve officer in the Yugoslav army in April 1941, became a prisoner of war but managed to escape.

Miro talks about his experiences, often in great detail, as a slave laborer and a prisoner, in Gospic harvesting crops, and in Jasenovac working at a steam power plant in 1941. He gives a detailed account of the detention camp were his group and Jews from Pag were imprisoned; both Jews and Serbs were brutalized and starved, as well as cruel treatment by Ustashi guards. No written records of prisoners were kept until 1942. He explains how a leather factory established by Sylvio Alkali, a Sarajevan, and Avraham Dimayo, a Jew from Belgrade, enabled the prisoners to survive. In 1942 the Ustashi liquidated thousands of Jews they brought to Jasenovac. In April 1945, the population of Jasenovac was liquidated and the buildings destroyed. Two hundred and fifty of the leather workers, including Miro, resisted, but all but eight were killed.. Miro joined the partisans, the Yugoslav People’s Army. He mentions his return to Osijek, subsequent arrest and release.
Miro talks about his feelings of shame and guilt. He again details the atrocities the Ustashi committed against Serbs and Jews. Mr. Auferber emigrated to Israel in 1948.

Date: 06/16/1987
Interviewer: Vera Rosenberger
Interviewee: Miro Auferber
Language: English
Serbical Yiddish
Subject: World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities--Croatia--Jasenovac
Forced labor
Gospic (forced labor)
Jasenovac (Concentration camp)
Ustasa, hrvatska revolucionarna organizacija
Survivor guilt
Location: Osijek, Croatia
Jablanac Jasenovacki, Croatia
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-miro-auferber/
PDF Transcript: