Nikolaus Wiesner




Nikolaus Wiesner  was born  March 29, 1919 in Pelsoc, Slovakia, a town near what was then the Czechoslovakian border with Hungary. He moved to Budapest as an adult and served in the Hungarian army until Jewish soldiers were no longer permitted to bear arms. They  were then forced to serve in work details. (As an Orthodox  Jew, he did not eat meat for the several  years of his service.)

Nearly  all his  fellow Jewish  soldiers were  ordered  to the Russian front during the  Russian-German confrontation where most died of malnutrition, disease, and extreme  winter  weather. Mr. Wiesner escaped this fate as a result of several indirectly self-inflicted injuries: a mangled foot and temporary  blindness. He was forced, however, to remain behind German lines during the German withdrawal from Russia and became  critically ill in a small town in Austria. He was hospitalized, but not given adequate medical care. As luck would have it, he  had a dramatic  reunion with his younger brother, who coincidentally had  arrived in the  same town after serving on a work detail in Yugoslavia. This meeting may  have saved his life, as his  brother was able to smuggle in food and other necessities to him.

During the war, Mr. Wiesner lost  his parents, three of his four brothers and  one of his sisters. His  oldest brother died on the  Russian front, his parents and two younger brothers died in  concentration camps, and his sister died  when  a  boat  she  was on,  sank  after  being  set  on fire.

Biography written by Steven Demeter