Judy Altmann: prewar life in Karpatorus and Auschwitz; Gitu Cycowicz: look back at Biden visit

Judy Altmann: prewar life in Karpatorus and Auschwitz; Gitu Cycowicz: look back at Biden visit

גיטו סיקאָוויץ: בײַדען באַגעגעניש, קוקנדיק צוריק; דזשודי אַלטמאַן: פֿאַרמלחמהדיק לעבן אין קאַרפּאַטאָרוס און אוישוויץ

Show notes

Part 1: Last July 13 we aired a quick interview with Gitu Cycowics just hours after her meeting with President Biden at Yad Vashem to get her first impressions, and she made us promise to let her come back to look back when she was not so tired and had time to think about things. We reached her by phone at her home in Jerusalem on Aug. 25, 2022.. Gitu -- a/k/a Giselle (Gita) Cycowicz (née Friedman) -- who was born in 1927 in the town of Chust in the Carpathian Mountains, then part of Czechoslovakia, survived Auschwitz and other camps, later starting a new life in the USA, and eventually getting her PhD in psychology. In her later years, she moved to Israel and then worked for decades for AMCHA (https://amcha.org), helping with the psychological needs of her fellow survivors. On Weds., Jul. 13, 2022, she was one of two Holocaust survivors invited to meet President Joseph Biden at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Here is a YouTube from the live stream of Gitu meeting Biden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q96DZT4qMXs&t=731s Here is Gitu's page at Yad Vashem: https://www.yadvashem.org/blog/i-have-to-tell-my-story-giselle-cycowicz.html

Part 2: Judy Altmann, born and raised in Jasina, Czechoslovakia, fondly recalls her home and family life in her town at the eastern edge of Karpatorus, which belonged to Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1939, Hungary during WWII, and now Ukraine. She worked in her family's general store, which served the lumber industry workers from the tiny surrounding villages. She recounts her mother's cooking talents and describes the dish known locally in Yiddish as ריפּינייִק Ripinyik, probably closest to Potatonik. (She sometimes refers to potatoes as ריבלעך (riblekh).) At the end, she summarizes her Holocaust experiences. In 1944, she and her parents and practically all Jews of the town were taken to Auschwitz. In her family's case, they were first made to stay for several days without shelter in the Jewish cemetery. From there they were taken to a ghetto in Mateszalca (Hungary ) for several weeks. Finally, they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She survived, but her parents and most of her family were killed. We reached Judy by phone at her home in Stamford, CT, on Aug. 31, 2022.

Air date: August 31, 2022

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