Chana Messinger Michaeli



Chana Michaeli was born and lived in Budapest, Hungary, the only daughter· of a pharmacist. The lifestyle was comfortable, and Chana spoke with pleasure as she recalled the extended family gatherings during the holidays.

Although anti-Semitism existed and was evident in the school system, the Jewish population lived relatively comfortably. Chana and her mother were sent to a concentration camp after the Germans entered Hungary. They had taken refuge in a small village, but a woman who had worked for her mother in Budapest reported them to the authorities.

The train cattle car ride to the camp was remembered as a four day torturous journey where she stood next to the window and reported what she saw. Chana remembers how she and her mother gave each other strength during the months in the camp and in the factory where they were sent. At the factory the underground taught Chana how to sabotage the equipment.

They returned to Budapest after liberation. Mrs. Michaeli spoke of her experiences with appropriate affect. She appeared comfortable in relating her experiences, was willing to clarify when asked and in general described her life in the camps with openness and if can be so described - "comfort". Mrs. Michaeli realized the importance of sharing her experiences and did so willingly making the interviewer feel relaxed during the session. She spoke of going to Israel by the underground and of how that country is where she felt most at home as she didn’t have nightmares there

Interviewed by Connie Mindell