MUDr. Moshe (Elemér) Markovič

* 1920  

  • Russians got into Pest meanwhile I went to the city centre; they shot yet from Pest to Buda where Germans were hidden. I went to the square where Russians has their trucks. Soldiers tried to catch civilians to captivity. They probably told themselves: We didn’t have enough soldiers, civilians were soldiers too and they just put civilian clothes on. That was their logic. There ware small anti-aerial guns. I joined one group of Russians and told them that I’m Czechoslovak; I will be interpreting for you. I was helping them with their anti-aerial guns. We were shooting on Germans planes, I was helping them.

  • “For two years I worked as a family doctor for the immigrants from all over the world. I would get to know newcomers from Persia, Yemen, Iraq, Poland, Romania, from all the corners of the earth. Immensely interesting work, I was meeting new people. I had a hobby – I was portraying my patients. They would be sitting in their cottages, playing board games, and I would be painting them. They enjoyed posing as models, they liked me as their doctor. I was doing this for two years, then I specialized in alergology. I moved to Tel Aviv, and then I continued with my specialization, with alergology, in Haifa.”

  • “I promised to one Polish lady, who was also involved in the movement, that I would obtain false documents through the Zionist movement for her. I was on my way to our office, and I see a lot of people there. There was a raid. I wanted to go away, but it was too late. Three people encircled me, one was a policeman and the others were in plain clothing with the Hungarian fascist badge – the arrow-crosses movement. They would not let me go. ´Who are you, what are you doing here? Your documents! Unbutton your coat.´ All three of them were asking me questions, I was scared, I did not know what to answer. When all three of them were asking me at the same time, I could only reply to one question at a time. I said that I saw a bunch of people gathered and so I was curious what was going on. One wanted me to unbutton me coat and... to see what I had in my trousers. (They wanted to see if I was circumcised). But it did not go that far. It simply happens that a young guy passes by a swarm of people, so he naturally becomes curious. I had a false student ID in my pocket, so I showed it to them, but they were not satisfied: ´With this you want to convince us that you are not a Jew?´ I replied: ´It is satisfactory for me, if that’s not enough for you, come to my flat then, I have all the papers there, my grandmother’s and grandfather’s documents.´ And this convinced them.”

  • “If you ask me what is my mother tongue is, I answer: None. I spoke with my father in Yiddish, with my mother in Hungarian. But my knowledge of both of these languages was at a very low level, I was not able to express more complicated things. But in Carpathian Ruthenia, where we lived, it was not even necessary. It was only at a Czech grammar school that I learnt to speak and write at a more advanced level. Czech became the language by which I could best express myself. To such an extent, that in 1937, on the day of T. G. Masaryk´s birthday, the school principal selected me to speak in Masaryk´s honour to the congregation gathered in front of our grammar school. So I knew Czech that well. Then the war came...”

  • “He knew me, and he was a terrible anti-Semite, a horrible man. So I thought – either he will not recognize me and let me in and so I will take that boy in with me. Or he will recognize me and won’t let me enter into the house. He did recognize me, let me in, but he would not let me out. He went to seek the guards, the fascists. They closed the gate, and he went out to look for them. When he returned, he brought a policeman with him. He did not find the guards, for they were too busy hunting for the Jews. The policeman brought me to the station, and from there I was escorted... They determined I was a runaway from the labour camp, since a Jew in my age was supposed to be in the camp. So they sent me to a military outpost, and from there to the well-known military prison in Budapest.”

  • “We the Jews were Zionists, at that time Zionism was a virtual citizenship of a state which did not exist. But we had it instilled in our hearts. We felt to be Czechoslovak citizens. But when the Jewish state arose, the Zionism within us revived as well. We yearned for it, for coming to Israel. I went to Israel in 1949. I contracted tuberculosis, I had to go for a treatment.”

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If you ask me what is my mother tongue is, I answer: None. I spoke with my father in Yiddish, with my mother in Hungarian

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MUDr. Moshe (Elemér) Markovič

MUDr. Moshe Markovicz was born Elemér Markovič in 1920 in Carpathian Ruthenia in the Ťačevo district, in a small village that can only be found in special maps, as he claims. He spoke Yiddish to his father, and Hungarian to his mother, he studied in Czech schools. After the Hungarian occupation of Carpathian Ruthenia he left for Budapest to escape anti-Jewish sentiments of the local Hungarians, and to find refuge in the anonymity of a larger city. In Budapest he enrolled in a yeshiva, a Jewish religious school. He was studying to become a rabbi; however, his main purpose in attending this school was to avoid military service in the Hungarian army. In Budapest he was hiding using various falsified documents; he was arrested twice, but eventually succeeded in being released. His second arrest came shortly before the liberation of Budapest by the Red Army, during which his captors escaped and he was thus free again. Thanks to his partial knowledge of Russian, which he had learnt while in Carpathian Ruthenia, he shortly worked as an interpreter in the Red Army; he traveled with the army all the way to Vienna. After the war he graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Prague, in 1949 he left for Israel. There he worked as a general practitioner for the new immigrants for the first two years, later he specialized in alergology in Tel Aviv and Haifa.