Magdaléna Zadorová

* 1919  †︎ 2023

  • “In the evening we got a piece of bread with something, for example with marmalade or Olomouc cheese what was quite cheap back then. That´s what helped us since it contains a lot of nutrients. We were supposed to split it for the next day. I usually ate it right in the evening and then starved during the day. But at least once a day I felt I ate something. Others tried to split it and eat throughout the day, but often they cried: 'Come and help me, please! My bread has been stolen!' Everyone was hungry so many times they took it from one another. And that person was left without bread. So when I ate it right off, I didn't have to defend anything during the whole night.”

  • “Yet some of our friends had heard about Auschwitz. I remember my friend asked me to come over that he wanted to talk to me. It was about a week or two after people were being taken to the brickfield. I went over and he said: 'Magda, for God's sake, don't go to the brickfield, because they take you away and kill you.' And I became upset: 'Why are you panicking? Isn't it enough what we are facing now? Let me be!' and I left. I didn't believe him. It sounded so absurd that I just couldn't believe him.”

  • “The stocks ran out of those striped clothes. If they even gave us those, it would have been luxury as it was warm at least. But we got to wear such light tatters that were to be thrown away. It came all the way down to the ground. And we didn't get just a short haircut, but they shaved our heads. We were young and pretty girls completely losing our dignity. We looked at each other in those tatters and didn't know if to laugh or cry over it.”

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    Košice, 21.07.2017

    duration: 01:33:09
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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The ability to keep my optimism even in the most difficult situations helped me to survive

Young Magda Zadorová
Young Magda Zadorová
photo: archív pamätníčky

Magdaléna Zadorová, née Sternová, was born on December 22, 1919 in Košice. She had one older brother Miklós and four younger sisters. Her father owned a small business for fish processing. After Košice were annexed to Hungary, the Stern family was deprived of their business and in order to survive, they had to sell their valuables. In March 1940 Magdaléna married Andrej Zador from Uzhhorod. After a year he was taken to work as a laborer for the military forces in USSR. On May 25, 1944 the whole family left from Košice by the third transport to the concentration camp in Auschwitz. From there Magda and two of her sisters were moved to Gleiwitz, later to Ravensbrück, where they met with their other sister Edita. At this camp they lived to see the liberation and they returned to Košice in June 1945. Her father and brother had died shortly before the war ended. In Košice Magda met up with her husband again. At the time of documentation of her life story, even though Magdalena was already 98 years old, she was still privately teaching the English and the German language. Magdaléna Zadorová died on December 23, 2023 at the age of 104.