Chaim David Jegher
Born: September 17, 1927
Rona de Jos, Romania
David was one of six children born to religious Jewish parents in Rona de Jos, a town in northwest Romania. The Jeghers subsisted through a variety of enterprises. Besides farming, they bottled their own wine and brandy and produced dried fruit for distribution in Romania and in parts of Czechoslovakia and Hungary. David's father also ran a local transportation and delivery service.
1933-39: Religious school was from 6:30 to 8:00 a.m. David's mother would wait outside the building with some breakfast for him that he would eat on his way to public school. After public school, his mother would again meet him with a meal that he would eat walking back to religious school for the afternoon session—he was sometimes there until 9:00 p.m. Then there were his chores, like cleaning the stables and feeding their cows. David never had time for homework.
1940-1945: The Germans occupied David's town in March 1944. He was 16. All the town's Jews were forced into a ghetto in Solotvina, Czechoslovakia, a town just over the border. Jews from several towns were crowded into the ghetto; food was scarce. David sneaked out over the fence one day and made it back to Rona de Jos. There, eluding the Gestapo and with the help of some Catholic neighbors, he loaded a wagon with corn and potatoes and drove it back to the ghetto. They unloaded the food, and then David let the horses run off.
David was deported from the Solotvina ghetto to Auschwitz, and then to labor camps in Germany. He was liberated in Germany, and immigrated to the United States in April 1948.