I remained in the Protectorate under Nazi rule, while Dolha was annexed to
While living in Brunn under the Nazi regime, and attempting unsuccessfully to immigrate to a country devoid of Nazi rule, I eyewitnessed and experienced first hand, the persecution and plight of Jews in the Protectorate, including the setting a fire of the Great Synagogue of Brunn by the Nazis, and the liquidation of all Jewish activities by the Nazis.
Toward the end of 1939, my hopes of immigration became impossible and I
returned to Dolha, which was then occupied by the Hungarians.
At that time the Hungarian regime began to impose anti- Jewish laws and established Jewish forced labor camps. I was drafted into a Hungarian forced Jewish labor camp and served in Nagykata. After a few months, I was temporarily released under unusual circumstances.
Once again I encountered many obstacles in my fervent attempts to flee
In 1941, when the Hungarian regime required all Jews from Carpatia to prove their Hungarian citizenship, I was actively engaged in securing a temporary residence for many Jewish families to avoid deportation. I saved and helped hundred of Jews in my native and surrounding towns, while obtaining temporary documents enabling them to avoid deportation.
I witnessed the Hungarian military (gendarmes) deporting hundreds of Jews from Carpato Ukraine to Kamenetz Podolsk, where they were killed, because they could not obtain Hungarian citizenship and were thus regarded as foreigners.
At the beginning of 1942, I was drafted once again into a Hungarian forced Jewish Labor camp in VAC, near Budapest. In the summer of 1942, I with thousand of other Hungarian Jewish males (aged 20-45), were shipped to the German occupied territories to work behind the battlefronts in places such as Kiev, Darnice, Pinsker Modes and Stanislav.
I experienced and eyewitnessed the sadistic atrocities inflicted upon Jewish labor campers and the murder of thousands of Jews by the Hungarian military guards. Under unusual circumstances, and as an exception, my Jewish labor squadron of about 200 men was replaced. I then returned to Hungary in March of 1944. At that time the Germans invaded Hungary, and the entire Jewish population from the Carpatho-Ukraine were placed in different ghettos. I was placed in Berehovo. On May 15, 1944, along with members of my family and other ghetto members, I was deported to Aushwitz. Later I, and other able men were sent to K.Z. Gross-Rozen Wolberg, where we were engaged in the heavy task of road construction and railroad building. I remained there until February 15, 1945. As the Soviets advanced, the camp was evacuated, and after a two week death march, I arrived in Bergen Belsen, where I was eventually liberated on April 15, 1945.
I emigrated to the United States in 1948. Since then I have been actively engaged in extensive Holocaust research. My work is archived and presented at various Holocaust centers throughout the United States and Israel. I have provided first hand information to Holocaust researchers, documentors, and scholars. My research is not only based on my experience as a Holocaust survivor, but on years of dedication to gathering data, and extensive material to supplement my experience, that establish credibility in my field of expertise. Many of the documents I collected are unique.
I currently reside in Netanya, Israel with my wife Agnes, who is also
a Holocaust survivor. I have two married daughters living in Israel, six
grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren. We spend a great amount of time with our family.
We are very active in our synagogue and in Zionist philanthropy. We are
observant Jews and our daughters were educated in Yeshivas and universities in the United States.
My Personal Records
Links to My Favorite Sites
Another way to really get to know someone - especially someone who spends
as much time on Holocaust research as I do - is to go to some other sites of interest :
Information about the history of my area and the persecution can be found in the U.S. Holocaust Museum Archives.
Bearing Witness Article from Yad VashemYad Vashem Website.
An outline of a series of video tapes for ordering: Holocaust Tapes Outline
My Report of Jewish Persecution: Holocaust Persecution Report
I was recently honored at Madison Square Garden for my work about the Holocaust. Word of Bonds
Send me e-mail to: Sydney Schwimmer