Oleg Mandić

* 1933

  • If you have something, if something bad happens to you in your life, when they lie to you, your parents, and your teachers, is it easier to forget, or will it pass faster? They don’t take into account that this will happen in your life again and that you will suffer again because of it. You need to keep what happens to you and close it somewhere in your memory, so when it happens again, you can remember;” It happened to me before, I lived it through in the past!” and you will jump with joy. On the wings of such beliefs and thinking it was clear to me at the age of thirteen – fourteen, that I tried to imagine something that will be worse than the dead industry, then Kolja who died in my bed, and so on, and so on. I could not think of anything that scary. That meant that the worst thing that could happen in my life had already happened, it was behind me and I passed through it. Meaning, everything that I will live through after will be beautiful, will be a waltz, and it was... But the cause of it was that Auschwitz was at the beginning exactly. If I could live a new life from the beginning, I would accept it, but with Auschwitz at the beginning again.

  • On that second day, they opened us again, the same procedure with only one novelty, which was that on the wagon on the outside was written Auschwitz with chalk. Auschwitz, is that the destination, what is Auschwitz, nobody knew. In the July of 1944 nobody heard about Auschwitz, among 70 of us, and the train composition grew, so there were much more than 20, I mean wagons.

  • It was somewhere around July, maybe the seventh, eighth, or ninth of July, when all three of us were taken down again. “Have you heard anything”, because it was possible even to get some kind of mail from outside, “do you have any news about your family, do you know did they went to Italy?” And the German exploded, he hit the table with his fist, he said: “Enough with that stupidity and your stories!” The day after tomorrow, on the show on radio London for Yugoslavia, the guest was the journalist Watson. And when he was asked to comment on the situation in Yugoslavia, in Yugoslavia, some wars are happening, that we, the man from the streets, people from the streets, don’t really understand. There are Chetniks of Draža Mihajlović who are fighting with Germans, on the other side, or not on the other side but the other part are the partisans with Tito as their leader, who also are fighting against Italians and Germans, and besides that, also Chetnics and partisans fight each other. I even don't want to mention that there are Ustashe also. To that question, Watson answered: „You know what, to you, people from the street it might seem weird and odd. To me, the situation is completely clear. I believe that the only right side in Yugoslavia is Tito and his partisans. And you want to know why? Because among Tito’s second in command is also Doctor Mandić, my good friend from First World War.

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    Opatija, 24.09.2021

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Oleg Mandić: the last kid leaving Auschwitz

Oleg Mandić
Oleg Mandić
zdroj: Eye direct recording

Oleg Mandić was born on April 5, 1933, in Rijeka. In 1944, because of the political activities of his family, he was taken first to prisons, and then to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, as a political opponent. With the liberation of the camp, he returned to Croatia. He studied law at the University of Zagreb, and started to work as a journalist. He is a book author. Oleg is very active in meeting young people in schools and telling his story. He is known to be the last kid leaving the camp of Auschwitz.