Naftali (Juraj) Fürst

* 1932

  • “Our mom managed to quickly stitch all kinds of tools into our coats, as small saws and screwdrivers. She put small cushions into mine, my brother’s and her coat, so that we looked stronger. Obviously they exactly knew, what was happening there. Before we knew the exact date of our transport, we were talking with our parents and dad explained us, that we were about to face a dreadful journey and we should do everything possible not to get to the final destination. Thus we decided to jump out of the train. He explained us what it would look like after he managed to open the door. Me as the youngest should have gone first, then my brother and my mom were supposed to jump and dad should’ve been the last one. This is hard to be explained. People cannot understand how it feels to say to own kid to jump out of the train. It is also situation which as an adult now I cannot comprehend. But back then, being just eleven years old, I found it a great solution for us. I was quite stupid back then because I thought it was easy to jump out of the train; that it was as sport, fun. Thus I wasn’t so afraid to do that.”

  • “When we got to the bigger road, we realized that there were buried thousands of people before us. On both sides of the road, in ditches there were people lying dead, wounded, crying, shouting… It was like if you passed through the door to hell. The picture is impossible to describe. Blood, weeping, corpses. No words for that.”

  • “As I already said how impossible it is to describe what is fear, hunger or cold, it is indescribable to say what a joy child has, when after all he can meet his parents, as well as what are the feelings of parents, who found their child again.”

  • Full recordings
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    Tel Aviv, Izrael, 21.11.2017

    duration: 02:51:07
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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He waited to see the liberation yet in the camp’s brothel

Naftali Fürst in young age
Naftali Fürst in young age
photo: Archív Naftali Fürst

Naftali Fürst was born in 1933 as Juraj Fürst into the family of Petržalka’s carpenter. He had one older brother Peter. After the Slovak State was declared, the family had to hide until the father’s decision to voluntarily enter the camp in Sereď. There he worked as the head of cabinetmaking workshops. Before the outbreak of the Slovak National Uprising they decided to run away from Sereď. When the German Army came, the family members were arrested and separated. They met together yet in Sereď camp under the command of Alois Brunner. From this camp the family was deported to Auschwitz, where again the children were separated from their parents. Juraj and his brother got to the sub-camp of Budy, from where they later managed to survive the death march to Buchenwald. Juraj got ill there and waited to see the liberation in brothel of Buchenwald’s camp. After the war the family gathered together and Juraj emigrated to Israel.