Adler, Sandor

Survivor/Camps, Escapee

Maramos Sighet (Romania), Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Flossenburg, Oberwustiegersdorf, Death March

Sandor Adler was born in Maramaros Sighet, Romania in 1929. Adler and his family lived in relative peace in Romania until 1940 when Hungary began occupying the region in which Adler’s family lived. Once Maramaros Sighet was occupied, all the city’s Jews were rounded up and placed into a ghetto in April 1944. From there, the fourteen-year-old Adler was transported with his family by cattle train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There the men and women were immediately separated into lines by the German soldiers to be put into the gas chambers. Adler lost his mother and sister, but he remained with his father. Adler and his father were then forced into a gas chamber; however, the gas chamber miraculously malfunctioned. Adler and his father were then transported with hundreds of others to Oberwuestiegersdorf, Germany to be placed into a work camp. There, Adler and his father worked by unloading sand, cement, and railroad supplies at the railroad track. One day while unloading railroad tracks Adler’s father severely injured his leg, making him unable to work. Afterwards Adler’s father was dragged off by German soldiers, and Adler never again saw his father. In January 1945, upon hearing news that the Allies were closing in on the area, the German officers forced all the prisoners to march. During this very chaotic period, Adler was forced to move from camp to camp, including Buchenwald and Flossenburg. On one death march from Flossenburg to Theresienstadt in April 1945, the German officers heard word that American troops were on the road, and they fled leaving the prisoners behind in German farmland. Adler and 56 others sought refuge at a nearby farm, but Adler was so malnourished at this point that he could no longer hold in any food. Unfortunately, the SS officers soon returned to this area in order to round up and shoot the surviving prisoners. Adler was one of only a few in the group to flee death. Adler then escaped to a nearby German city where he was placed into a Catholic hospital for medical care. Adler’s stomach was operated on (unbeknownst to him by a former high-ranking Nazi doctor who was later imprisoned for his crimes), and he remained in the care of Catholic nuns for seven months until he was fully recuperated.

Interview Information:
Date: August 2003
Interviewer: Newangle
Format: DVD Recording