“The Jews who lived in Nitra were very Orthodox. They strongly despised the Zionist movement. My parents were so liberal that they allowed us to go to Bnei Akiva. In Bnei Akiva it was not as it is today. Bnei Akiva was an open organization. We studied Hebrew, we danced together, boys and girls, and it was no problem. And when there is no problem, one does not make problems, either.”
“They already removed our names from the class registry book. My sister and I were good pupils, we had straight As. They told us: ‘Stay here, it will get better, it will pass.’ I said: ‘No, we will go to Palestine.’ I have not returned to school; we completed four grades of grammar school. I went to hachschara, for about half a year. What was I doing? I was washing clothes. (Where was it?) In Zobor in Nitra.”
“(What is your opinion on the official establishment of the State of Israel?) There was nothing more beautiful. All our dreams have come true. We were happy, happy... We rejoiced that day and the day after we went to war. Schmuel Alex was a soldier and I was in the Haganah. My work was in the Haganah (…). We were in Tel Aviv. There was Tel Aviv and Yafo. Arabs lived in Yafo and we were here. I was preparing sandwiches, days and nights. Sandwiches for soldiers. Sardines, sardines, sardines. Even today... [laughing].”
“I say that they were lucky that they were not sent in the barracks anymore but they went straight to gas chambers. How do I know? My cousin has come back. She was with them but she has returned. That’s why I say that they were lucky. For years I had dreams about my mother, about her scratching on the walls and wanting to go out, out. And I felt ‘down,’ I was very depressed. But I got over it, but I have not thought about my family for years. For years I was not thinking about what had happened, only about the here and now. Then it has come out of me, but it was healing that it has come out.”
There was nothing more beautiful than the declaration of the State of Israel
Šošana Cachor was born on January 23, 1925 in Nitra as Renata Hönigsberová. She grew up in a Jewish middle class family which was engaged in trade. There were six children in the family. Although they lived in the Czechoslovak territory, they did not possess Czechoslovak citizenship. In November 1938, after the Vienna Arbitration, the family was evicted to a no-man’s land at the recently established Slovak-Hungarian border and they were allowed to return only after a certain period of time. Šošana and her twin sister left the grammar school at that time and as members of the Zionist religious group Bnei Akiva they were preparing for departure to Palestine. She went through a re-education course for emigrants - so-called hachschara - in Zobor near Nitra. In 1941 she and her sister received a certificate which allowed them to travel to Palestine and they left the country. Several of her siblings managed to leave as well. Her parents and her eldest sister with her family were murdered in Auschwitz. Šošana lived in a centre for new immigrants in Palestine for two years and then she moved to kibbutz Kiryat Zvi and Gush Etzion. In summer 1945 her friend and leader from the group in Bnei Akiva Avraham Weiss came to Palestine (he changed his name to Schmuel Cachor in Israel). She married him and they raised two children. They both took part in fighting for the independence of Israel in 1948. Šošana completed a pedagogical school and she worked as a teacher. From the 1960s she worked as a presenter of an educational television channel for children. She was doing this work for twenty-seven years and she received Israeli and international awards for her activity. Šošana Cachor died on February 21, 2016.