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Chaim David Jegher

Rona de Jos, Romania

David was one of six children born to religious Jewish parents in Rona de Jos, a town in northwest Romania. The Jeghers subsisted through a variety of enterprises. Besides farming, they bottled their own wine and brandy and produced dried fruit for distribution in Romania and in parts of Czechoslovakia and Hungary. David's father also ran a local transportation and delivery service.

1933-39: Religious school was from 6:30 to 8:00 a.m. My mother would wait outside the building with some breakfast for me that I'd eat on my way to public school. After public school, my mother would again meet me with a meal that I'd eat walking back to religious school for the afternoon session--I was sometimes there until 9:00 p.m. Then there were my chores, like cleaning the stables and feeding our cows. I never had time for homework.

1940-1945: The Germans occupied our town in March 1944. I was 16. All the town's Jews were forced into a ghetto in Solotvina, Czechoslovakia, a town just over the border. Jews from several towns were crowded into the ghetto; food was scarce. I sneaked out over the fence one day and made it back to Rona de Jos. There, eluding the Gestapo and with the help of some Catholic neighbors, I loaded a wagon with corn and potatoes and drove it back to the ghetto. We unloaded the food, and then I let the horses run off.

David was deported from the Solotvina ghetto to Auschwitz, and then to labor camps in Germany. He was liberated in Germany, and emigrated to the United States in April 1948.

 

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