Pavel Drechsler

* 1935

  • "Mum went to the city council and said," I want you to return our furniture, that you stole from us and then sold." They said, "we don't know who bought it, but we know from which village he came." Mum took a cart with horses and we went to a village close to Hlohovec. We waited while it was dark. It was a small village. Road and houses on the left and right. Mom went past the house and saw our furniture through the block. She went there, "It's mine!" It was about four houses where she saw our furniture. Everyone said, "This is yours, take it!" "How much did you pay?" "I used it, I don't want to!" The peasants were all reasonable, they returned everything to us. My mother came to Israel and brought all the furniture with her. ”

  • “There were Zionists from Hashomer Hatzair in Hlohovec. I was there with my brother. There were doing all sorts of interesting things. We learned to write, read and speak in Hebrew. My brother came to Israel in 1948, I in 1949, my mom in 1950. ”- "And did you know that Hashomer Hatzair helped the Jews as a Zionist movement during the war or escape to, at that time, Palestine?"- "When I arrived, everything was legal."- “Did you know what they were doing during the war? How did they help after the war, when you became a member of Hashomer Hatzair? ”- "I know, they issued false papers. We were taken from Budapest to a Jewish hospital. There were very many people. They took us there before the ghetto. We lived there on the stairs, we slept on them. We had three to four seats. We've been there for about two weeks. Then the members of Hungarian garda came and took us into the ghetto. And when we went out, we heard shooting. The Zionists of Hashomer Hatzair climbed onto the roof and fired from there- two to three shots and then they stopped. There were some also like that. ”

  • “They took my father. His Christian friend came and He said to him, "Don't be home, because they're coming to take you tonight." So my mom sent him to a Jewish hospital in Nitra and we went there to live. He didn't return to Hlohovec anymore. They took the entire Jewish hospital in Nitra with doctors and Christians who worked there. They took them to Auschwitz. The Germans said there was some strange Jewish disease and that everyone had to be taken. They took my father too, and we saw him no more. My brother went to Yad Vashem thirty years ago and said, “My father should be ninety years old today. Maybe he is alive! ” They showed him, that on that day, the train deported people to Auschwitz. And from Nitra to Auschwitz it was about 150 kilometres, but it took two weeks to get there, as they stopped often. The Germans wrote that when the train arrived in Auschwitz, from the carriage, in which was placed my father, three people survived out of eighty-nine. And those three were sent directly to the crematorium. My brothered believed, that our father is still alive."

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    Kiryat Haim, 20.09.2019

    duration: 52:14
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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Those who have not survived it, would never understand

Pavel Drechsler was born in Trnava on September 10, 1935, as the second child of Alexander and Elena Drechsler. His father, originally from Hlohovec, traded staple goods; the mother, originally from Galanta, was a housewife. After their father’s deportation from the Jewish hospital in Nitra, he and his mother and brother Juraj emigrated to Hungary. They lived in Galanta, from where they managed to escape to Budapest, where they were transferred to the ghetto. They spent nine months in the Budapest ghetto until March / April 1945. After the liberation, they returned to Hlohovec. There they were in the Zionist Hashomer Hatzair movement in which Paul learned to read and speak Hebrew. The family gradually emigrated to Israel. In 1948, his brother emigrated, a year later Pavel, 14, and their mother Elena. Paul spent his youth in the kibbutz, and later worked for three years in the Israeli army, in which he received the rank of Staff Sergeant. During his life, he worked as a car mechanic. He married at twenty-four. He and his wife Tamar have three sons and live in Kiryat Haim.