Magda Atlasová Schwarzová

* 1919  

  • “At home we used to be friends with everybody. Not because we were the Atlas family, but because we were a bit wealthier than others. So at first they let us be, without doing us any harm. In 1940 I got married and moved to Prešov.” “Who did you marry? Tell us more details, please.” “I got married to one very cute boy. He was a trader with timber and a producer of railroad ties. So when the Jews began to be deported from Prešov, he was granted a presidential dispensation, since he used to send those railroad ties to France. We lived in a big house, where one flat belonged to a police inspector Maradík. When the Jews were being chased in Prešov, the police leaders used to come and pick him up. We had a small squeaking gate, which we always knew was opening. No one else could come over, only the police when picking up Mr. Maradík. We always looked even if being already in bed. The doorway of his flat had a tag on: Inspector Maradík, however, one door and one room was empty. So when he left with the policemen, we entered the room and nobody came to search it through, since there was written: Police Inspector Maradík. This way we protected ourselves about half a year.” Sandra: “And what was your husband´s name?” “His name was Viktor Schwarz. Opposite to this house, there was a beautiful villa. Some kind of high Prešov officer moved in and watched closely what movements were done in our house, who visited us or not… I had to wear the Jewish badge and as soon as I left the gate, he used to report me to policemen that I went to the streets without permission. Because of that we started to be afraid of hiding in that flat furthermore. We used to seek for some places at our acquaintances, where we slept. My mom, who lived in Ráslavice, was with us as well; we didn´t leave her alone.”

  • “My little sister was taken to transport from Bardejov. However, the train had a whole night stop in Bardejov, and since my uncle was a doctor in Bardejov, he went and took her out. He said she had epilepsy, thus he was taking her to his flat, from where they were supposed to pick her up in the morning. When the guard came, my uncle said: ‘I won´t give her to you!’ and the guard replied: ‘I wouldn´t give up my child either.’ So he kept her and later she came to my place in Prešov. There was one German, named Schurtger. He used to wear the ‘hakenkreuz’ and had a girlfriend who used to be Alice´s ‘kinderfräulein’. Since she loved my little sister a lot, they took her across the borders to Budapest. However, she had a very hard life in Budapest. She had to serve at one family, then at another, until she got to my brother-in-law´s, my husband´s brother, who was in Budapest. He had some acquaintances among Hungarian officers, who were communists. As he was providing a shelter to some Jews, he hid my sister as well as my other brother-in-law, and many more, until the authorities found out and imprisoned all of them. The interrogations were very cruel for my sister. They burned her hands to make her talk and so. In the end, they took them all near the Danube and shot them down. She didn´t know how and why she found herself naked in a Buda hospital. Someone saved her from the Danube River. They didn´t kill her. But I don´t know how long she stayed at that hospital.” Juraj: “Well, was the war over?” “No, the war wasn´t over yet.” Juraj: “But your brother-in-law was killed.” “Yes, all the imprisoned people were shot down, and Alica had her hands burned. They tortured her to reveal what had happened, whom she had met, you know. After the war we found out that she lived in Budapest and we went to look for her. One doctor, Aryan, told us she lived in Budapest, but if no one returned for her, she wouldn´t come back alone. She didn´t want to live in Ráslavice. Thus we traveled for several days to get there, because Russians always took the locomotive and we had to stop. I arrived to Budapest with such swollen legs. But fortunately, we found her and took her home.”

  • “We had to go to work, as we didn´t have any money. Back in the past, there were such coins that had a whole inside, do you remember? I used to travel by bus and I always gave the driver these big coins. I thought to myself, who knows how much it was, since he always gave me a ticket. I was worried about getting off because one had to pull the rope to let the driver know he wanted to stop the bus. Back then I was quite little. But later our situation got a bit better and when I entered the bus again, the driver told me: ʻDo you realize you had almost every time traveled for free? I always gave you the ticket for the money you paid with.’” Juraj: “You have to say that not almost for free, but that you really used to travel for free. The coin wasn´t Israeli, but Palestinian. It didn´t have any value. Thus he always gave you free rides.” “You know, he was so sweet…” Juraj: “Wasn´t it Eli? But something happened to him then, didn´t it? I think he lost his leg during the 40-day war. Well, many stories there are to tell.”

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    Tel Aviv, 27.10.2016

    (audio)
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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of the 20th century
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I don´t have trust in Slovak youth anymore

Magda Atlasová Schwarzová
Magda Atlasová Schwarzová
zdroj: Sandra Polovková

Magda Atlasová Schwarzová was born on September 14, 1919 as the third child in a well-off Atlas family. Until her father´s death, their life was good, however, when he passed away in 1927, her mother stayed alone with four children. In 1940 Magda got married to Viktor Schwarz, a trader with timber and a producer of railroad ties. He was granted a presidential dispensation when the transports began. Magda used to go and take care of poor Jews in a military hospital. Since 1942 she and her husband had to start hiding, at first they found a hideout in one Prešov house, and later they ran to mountains near Liptovský Mikuláš, where they lived with other Jews in a small bunker. After German´s invasion into the Slovak mountains in winter 1944, they were forced to run away. With the help of Czechoslovak soldiers they got to Poprad and later to Prešov. In 1949 they emigrated to Jerusalem, where they worked in a factory at first. Afterwards, they opened and operated a well-liked restaurant. Together they had two daughters. In 1959 Magda´s husband died being only 51 years old. Nowadays, Magda Schwarzová has 13 great grandchildren and lives in Tel Aviv. She is still in touch with people or their relatives who had helped her family during the wartimes.