Karol Natan Steiner

* 1933  †︎ 2022

  • “Every morning we had to stand in line and on a roll-call they used to distribute us breakfast. It was black water – something like tea or coffee, and small black bread with a little piece or margarine or marmalade. For lunch we used to get so-called soup. It was good only because it was warm. However, it was the same beet that cows were fed with. We had it cut into little squares, added with some carrots or potatoes. If one was lucky, he got the potato or beet from the bottom of the pot. Others got just the juice.”

  • “My father as a doctor, even though being very religious, followed to the doctor's oath by accepting every patient, no matter if they were a Jew, Catholic, or Lutheran. He took them as a human and if such a patient came on Saturday, he examined him anyway. Instead of writing a prescription, he went with them down to the pharmacy and asked the pharmacists to give the patient such and such medicine needed. He promised to return back and write the prescription after the Sabbath was over. Many times, if the patient was poor, he even paid the bill for them there.”

  • “My father had told me: 'My dear Karol, if something happens here you are not protected. You have to manage to save yourself somehow. I was only 11 andhalf years old. I went to the toilet on the second floor of that chateau. I put down my flat cap, took off my shirt and stayed only in t-shirt and shorts not to look like a Jewish kid. I threw my clothes out of the window to cover the traces and I waited to see what would happen. I looked outside and saw what was going on in the yard. I came out of that bathroom and suddenly there were two SS men and one policeman standing there. They came to me and began yelling at me: 'Jude oder nicht Jude? – Are you a Jew or a non-Jew?' And I completely apathetically pretended I didn't have a clue what they wanted from me. So then the Germans told the policeman to ask me, who I was. The policeman asked me: 'Boy, what are you doing here? Who are you?' I told them I was Jano Gažo from Marianka, where I live and that I came to the chateau to sell vegetables to Jews, who live there. I continued that they kept me there, but I wanted to go home as my parents were waiting for me. The policeman interpreted what I said, but the Germans weren't satisfied with my answer. One of them grabbed my t-shirt and yelled again: 'Jude oder nicht Jude?' And I didn't say anything. Then the other one approached me and wanted to pull my pants down as to look, whether I was circumcised. I curled up in a ball and I didn't let him do that. So the angry soldier kicked me to the balls, left me there and went on.”

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    Tel Aviv, Izrael, 04.12.2017

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Utiekol SS, nie však koncentračným táborom

With czech senator Přemysl Sobotka
With czech senator Přemysl Sobotka
zdroj: archív Karol Natan Steiner

Karol Natan Steiner sa narodil 3. septembra 1933 v rodine bratislavského lekára. Počas druhej svetovej vojny získal jeho otec hospodársku výnimku, na základe ktorej bol chránený pred deportáciami, a jeho rodina sa presťahovala do Liptovského Mikuláša. Neskôr si našiel prácu lekára v Stupave a rodinu zobral späť na západné Slovensko. Karola so sestrou ukryl v kláštore v Marianke. Pri kontrole kláštora jednotkami SS v roku 1944 sa Karolovi podarilo z kláštora utiecť, no jeho sestru zobrali s ostatnými Židmi. Pri pokuse zachrániť dcéru zatkli aj Karolovho otca. Obaja zahynuli v Osvienčime. Karol s mamou sa ukryli v rodine miestneho sedliaka, no boli udaní a zatknutí. Z tábora v Seredi už nešli do Osvienčimu, ale boli v prvom transporte, ktorý smeroval na západ do Nemecka. Takto sa dostali do koncentračného tábora Bergen-Belsen, kde prežili až do konca vojny. Karol v roku 1949 odišiel do Izraela, kde sa oženil, vyučil za ekonóma a neskôr získal titul honorárneho konzula. Karol Natan Steiner zomrel v roku 2022.