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Magda Bar Or roz. Kopelovičová (1928) - Biography

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I can go anywhere, but I can only live here


Magda Bar Or, née Amalia Kopelovičová, was born on November 10, 1928 in Jasiňa in Carpathian Ruthenia in a Jewish family. Her parents ran a general store and they spoke Yiddish and German at home. Magda Bar Or only learnt to speak Czech after she began going to school. Her father was transported to a labour camp in 1942 and later he died, most probably at the front. In April 1944, after the occupation of Carpathian Ruthenia by the Nazis and the beginning of deportations of Jews, Magda Bar Or and her sister Nelly, who was three years younger, her mother and her grandmother were transported to a ghetto in the Hungarian town Mátészalka, and from there they were taken to Auschwitz. After spending some time in Auschwitz, Magda and her sister were sent to a labour camp in Geislingen an der Steige near Stuttgart. In spring 1945 they went with an evacuation transport to Dachau, where they were liberated in April 1945. Magda has not returned to her native village. Her cousin Michal was the only person from her family who has survived. After the liberation, Magda and her sister spent half a year in the Štiřín chateau in the sanatorium established by Přemysl Pitter. In December 1945 she left for Palestine, where she eventually arrived in July 1947 after several weeks in Germany, in Marseille and a one-year internment in Cyprus. She started a family in Israel and she contributed to maintaining the contacts between Přemysl Pitter and his "children" that he had provided care for after the war.

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