Oral History Interview with Yehuda L. Mandel

Yehuda Mandel, born in Csepe, Hungary on March 3, 1904, describes being raised in an Orthodox Jewish family; Jewish life in Csepe before and after World War I; relations with non-Jews and his education; the occupation of his town by various countries, until Csepe became part of Czechoslovakia; serving in the Czech Army from 1924 to 1926; being a cantor in Vienna, Austria in 1928 and then in Novisad, Yugoslavia (now in Serbia) from 1928 to 1934; being in Riga, Latvia from 1934 to 1936; serving as a cantor in Budapest, Hungary in 1935 at the Rombach Temple while also serving as a chaplain in the Hungarian Army; being offered a position in London, England, but choosing to remain in Hungary; Jewish life and congregational life in each location; the anti-Jewish feelings in Austria and the implementation of anti-Jewish laws in 1939; a mass grave where Jews were killed and buried in Kamenetr-Podolsk; being in various labor battalions; escaping and returning to Budapest in November 1944; staying in a house protected by the Swiss consulate; serving as a messenger in “Eilbotenausweis”; participating in rescuing 300 Jews from a prison and making illegal trips to Czechoslovakia; his experiences with Russian occupiers and the desecration and reconstruction of Rombach Temple; his wife and children, who were in Bergen-Belsen as part of a Sondergruppe organized by Dr. Kasztner; his illegal passage to Palestine in May 1946, aided by the Haganah; reuniting with his family in Kibbutz Shar Hamakkim; serving as a cantor in Haifa until he moved to the United States in 1948; and becoming a cantor at Bet Juda in Philadelphia, PA in 1950.

Date: 02/18/1982 to 06/04/1982
Interviewer: Nora Levin
Interviewee: Yehuda L. Mandel
Language: English
Subject: Cantors (Judaism)
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives.
Human smuggling.
Jews--Social life and customs.
Jews--Societies, etc.
Mass burials--Ukraine--Kam'ianets'-Podil's'kyi.
Military chaplains--Hungary.
Synagogues--Destruction and pillage.
World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--Hungary.
Men--Personal narratives.
Budapest (Hungary)
Haifa (Israel)
Kam'ianets'-Podil's'kyi (Ukraine)
London (England)
Novi Sad (Serbia)
Palestine--Emigration and immigration.
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Riga (Latvia)
Sha'ar ha-'Amakim (Israel)
United States--Emigration and immigration.
Vienna (Austria)
Mandell, Yehuda, 1904-
Czechoslovakia. Armáda.
Haganah (Organization)
Hungary. Honvédség.
Location: Chepa, Ukraine
Kaunas, Lithuania
Riga, Latvia
Budapest, Hungary
London, United Kingdom
Lászlótanya, Hungary
Bilky, Ukraine
Vişeu de Sus, Romania
Sátoraljaújhely, Hungary
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-yehuda-l-mandel/