Alexander Singer as a child

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  • Photo taken in:
    Kezmarok
    Year when photo was taken:
    1918
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938
    Country name today:
    Slovakia

This is a photo of me, Alexander Singer. It was taken in Kezmarok in 1918. I got the photo after the war, in Samorin. They found it in the Nagymagyar - Zlate Klasy ghetto, where my parents must have lost it.

I was born into the worst poverty, in 1916, in Kezmarok. My parents named me Alexander, Jewish name Shmuel.

With my father I spoke mostly German, but with my mother Slovak as well. I spent my early childhood in Kezmarok. Later, in 1926, we moved to Samorin, where my father became the head rabbi.

For us it was a change to abundance. It was a very good and big change from the standpoint of accommodations and supporting the family.

Compared to Kezmarok, Samorin was a village, as Kezmarok was a town of artisans, but from the standpoint of supporting the family, it was incomparable.

A rabbinical position came up in Samorin, because the rabbi there was a former classmate of my father's, Dr. Weiss.

He was a modern person, and became a rabbi in Wiener Neustadt [New Vienna].

For one, he himself recommended my father for his old position, and Akiba Schreiber also recommended him for it.

Samorin was only a small town, about sixty Jewish families, which was about 200 souls.

But the problem was that there was only a Hungarian Jewish school there, and in Kezmarok I'd been attending a Slovak school, and my other siblings a German one.

So we began learning Hungarian.

Interview details

Interviewee: Alexander Singer
Interviewer:
Martin Flekenstein
Month of interview:
December
Year of interview:
2006
Bratislava, Slovakia

KEY PERSON

Alexander Singer
Jewish name:
Shmuel ben Abraham Jakov
Year of birth:
1916
Decade of birth:
1910
City of birth:
Kezmarok
Occupation
before WW II:
University student
after WW II:
Departmental head/manager in socialist firms

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