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Mikulas Diamant

Bratislava, Czechoslovakia

 

Mikulas and his German-speaking Jewish family lived in the town of Hlohovec. His family owned a large farm and his father was a rancher. In 1932, due to declining economic conditions, Mikulas's father began to sell all of his property. Then the family moved to the city of Bratislava, where they had many relatives.

1933-39: My father worked with my uncle in the wholesale paper business. I worked part-time in a workshop as an electrician and I went to high school. In 1938 we began to hear of German atrocities, such as the "Night of Broken Glass." In 1939 the fascists took over Slovakia and I was drafted into the Slovak army. Along with 500 other Jewish inductees, I was sent to a work camp, where we cleared snow off the roads.

 
 

1940-44: When I returned home three years later, Jews were being transported to Nazi concentration camps. In Bratislava I did my best to remain inconspicuous but I ran into an old army friend. Suddenly I was pushed into a Gestapo car. My "friend" was an informer. The Gestapo took me to their office. They wanted names of other Jews. I saw an open window, and I leaped out and fell on my back. Waking in terrible pain, I somehow managed to get to my home. Friends and I planned to escape the Nazis, but one day the SS knocked at my door.

Mikulas survived several concentration camps before being liberated by the Soviets. After the war he emigrated to the United States.

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