Miso Vogel

Miso Vogel

Born: November 29, 1923

Jacovce, Czechoslovakia

Miso came from a religious family in a small village in Slovakia, where his father was a cattle dealer. He was the eldest of five children. When Miso was 6 his family moved to Topol'cany, where the children could attend a Jewish school. Antisemitism was prevalent in Topol'cany. When Miso played soccer, it was always the Catholics versus the Jews.

1933-39: In 1936 Miso had his bar mitzvah and was considered a man. His grandparents traveled 50 miles for it; he was so happy they were all together. In March 1939 the Hlinka Guards, Slovak fascists, took over their town. His family's barber, a very nice man, became a Hlinka guardsman. When Germany invaded Poland in September, the German army requisitioned his father's cattle and horses.

1940-44: Miso's sister and brother were deported, then it was his turn. They sang the Czechoslovak national anthem and their Jewish anthem, "Hatikva," on the way to their unknown destination. At Auschwitz Miso was prisoner #65316 and sorted baggage contents of newly arrived Jews who were marched to the gas chambers. All of his family was gassed at Auschwitz except for his father, who was assigned to slave labor. Miso visited him every night after roll call. After his father fell ill, he told him, "Try to survive and carry on the family name." The next day he was gassed.

Miso was deported to two more camps; at the Landsberg labor camp, he escaped to the woods just as the U.S. Army entered the area in April 1945. In 1946 he immigrated to America.