Oral History

David (Dudi) Bergman describes bar mitzvah during deportation by cattle train from Auschwitz to Plaszow

The Germans occupied David's town, previously annexed by Hungary, in 1944. David was deported to Auschwitz and, with his father, transported to Plaszow. David was sent to the Gross-Rosen camp and to Reichenbach. He was then among three of 150 in a cattle car who survived transportation to Dachau. He was liberated after a death march from Innsbruck toward the front line of combat between US and German troops.


After about five or six days, or in that range there, we told...we were told to march out and, um, to get onto a cattle train. And we were in that group about, um, 13 people--13, 15. Or in that range. And we got on the train, uh my father said that today's my Bar Mitzvah. And he had secretly hidden, risking his life, a little bottle of wine. And he took it out. And he passed it around to everybody, and everyone had a little sip and had a toast. And that's how I celebrated my Bar Mitzvah. It was very sad. But there was no time to think then on this. The time then was survival.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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