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Personal narratives, Jewish
|Named Person:||John Sauber|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
John Sauber; Gloria Schwartz; Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive.
Accompanied by 2 audio cassettes.
Transcript of taped interview conducted on October 21, 1999.
|Description:||1 v. (unpaged) ; 28 cm. + 2 audio cassettes.|
|Series Title:||Gratz College Holocaust Oral History Archive, no. 158.|
|Responsibility:||interviewer, Gloria Schwartz.|
In 1944, when he was 17 years old, Mr. Sauber was drafted into a forced labor unit that went to the Russian front. He was wounded and put on a Red Cross train. Because he was Jewish, he received no medical treatment and was transferred to a deportation train for Hungarian Jews. He describes conditions on the train and his arrival and processing at Bergen-Belsen Concentration camp. He talks about conditions at Bergen-Belsen pre and post liberation and his activities in great detail, including removing hair and gold teeth from corpses and how he managed to survive. He witnessed brutal treatment of inmates. The Germans fled just before the camp was liberated by Allied troops. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRAA) cared for the survivors.
Mr. Sauber returned to Budapest and was reunited with his father. His mother and sister had been deported and killed. He had gone to medical school in Hungary, resumed his education, then went to a Displaced Persons camp in Germany, run by UNRAA, and to a camp in Bamberg with a group planning to go to Palestine. He emigrated to Saskatoon, Canada with a group of Jewish orphans sponsored by the Canadian Jewish Congress, in January 1946, and was helped by Jewish community. He brought his father and stepmother to Canada. He is still haunted by his experiences and trying to cope with the loss of most of his family. He relates a touching episode when saying Kaddish for his stepmother brought him some peace.