Lea Schreiber

* 1932  

  • „The survivors of the war were mostly children, that was interesting. Even when we came to Israel, no one talked about who saved us. We knew that one had a mother, the other ones‘ died, but nobody spoke about their experiences. Whether it was shame or fear, I don’t know... It was the same in Israel. For two years, we lived together in an institute and kibbutz, but we never told anyone where... I still can’t understand it, we never uttered a word about our experiences... There were also girls and boys, who had been through much worse.. Judita was in Auschwitz, even children who survived Auschwitz were with us. But no one dared to speak about our experience, I still can’t understand it…”

  • On October 19, 1994, I was at home with my mother and suddenly the light went off. Even now, when in the winter, or any other time, the light switches off, I feel scared. They said on the radio, Germans had occupied Slovakia. We had to escape. And the very same day, we actually escaped. We had one with a carriage, no car, just horse and a carriage. And the horse carried us to some village, I don’t remember where we slept there and the next day we went to Slavosovce."

  • „And suddenly one day, I was sleeping, I would never regret it, my mother came to my bed ad said: “Wake up, Germans are here!“ The Germans came, and we were seventeen in a wooden cottage. So we started to cry, all of us, and they left us. They left us and didn’t take us with them. We were so naive, that we thought that was all. But it wasn’t everything. After a few days, the shepherd [who took care of us] did not come and did not bring us food, we didn’t know what happened. Then he came and said: “What are you doing here? It was Silvester, Germans came and claimed they had found seventeen Jews and that they’ll take them.“ We run as we were, through snow, my mother broke her leg, as we ran through the forest, we heard them shooting and shouting at us, but the forest was fortunately very thick and we kept quiet, so they couldn’t find us.”

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    Kirjat Bialik, 20.09.2019

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    duration: 46:49
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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We knew whose parents died, but we never talked about our experiences. I don’t know whether it was a shame, or fear. I couldn’t understand it even today

Lea Schreiber, nee Greslova, was born on October 18, 1931, in Dobsina. Her parents Etel and Alexander were practising Jews, the family made living from a tannery workshop. After attending elementary school, Lea was allowed to attend the first two years with Slovak classmates, but then to antijewish laws was relegated into separate Jewish class. Greslers managed to escape the first wave of deportations. She hid before the occupation of Dobsina by Germans in a forest cottage next to village Slavosovce. At the beginning of the year 1945, they escaped arrest in the last minute, until liberation, they were hiding in the attic of a railroad worker. After the war, the family moved to Roznava, Lea left to study at a gymnasium in Kosice. She joined a Jewish youth organisation Bnej Akviva, where she learned about Zionism and decided to emigrate to Israel. Together with other immigrants, she sailed to Haifa on March 21, 1949. Her parents moved to Bratislava, where her father as a member of illegal zionist organisation Bircha helped Jews to emigrate from communist Czechoslovakia. Later, they also emigrated to their daughter to Israel. In Israel, Lea met her future husband Imre Schreiber, with whom she had three children. She currently lives in the city Kirjat Bialik.