Respondent
Fenves, Steven
Interview Date
1996
Abstract
Respondent Civil engineer and Holocaust survivor, born 1931
[T1S1] Respondent recalls parent's family background; mentions father editor of uncle's Hungarian newspaper, mother artist. Respondent discusses early life in Serbia; mentions hardships and prohibitions after German occupation. Respondent describes family's move to resettlement area and then Auschwitz, where he becomes interpreter and member of resistance. Respondent recalls transfer to Buchenwald where he worked in Messerschmidt factory.
[T1S2] Respondent describes survival in camps, sabotage, hiding from guards, finally being liberated by American troops. Respondent discusses Jewish practices of religion in camps, continues to report on liberation. Respondent reports on return home, forfeiting DP status, decision to go to Paris. Respondent discusses role of American Joint Distribution Committee, his education in Paris.
[T2S3] Respondent discusses immigration to U.S. paid for by Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, settling in Chicago, working for engineering firm, attended night school at Illinois School of Technology. Respondent recalls being drafted for Korean War, stationed in Germany, mentions becoming U.S. citizen. Respondent details Ph.D. studies at University of Illinois‑Champagne, Urbana. Respondent discusses marriage, son's birth. Respondent talks about teaching computer applications in civil engineering. Respondent talks about birth of children, Sabbaticals, life in college town. Respondent talks about move to Pittsburgh, appointment at Carnegie Mellon University, decision to quit. Respondent reveals coming to terms with Holocaust past, giving Holocaust seminars.
[T2S4] Respondent describes formation of Pittsburgh Survivor Group, attending its international meetings, children's reactions, his role on Holocaust Commission, its speakers' bureau. Respondent talks about his children. Respondent explains role with Shalom House, part of Habitat for Humanity. Respondent recalls return with sister to Subotica for 50th Anniversary of Deportation, received commemorative issue of uncle's newspaper with engravings of mother's artwork, details how area has changed. Respondent describes subsequent visit to Berlin and Buchenwald.
[T3S5] Respondent describes how camp looks now, tells why he will not visit Auschwitz. Respondent talks about personal interests.
Subjects
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; Auschwitz (Concentration camp); Buchenwald (Concentration camp); Engineering; Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (1880-); Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945); National Holocaust Commission (U.S); Shalom House (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Subotica (Serbia)
Length (hours)
2.25
Interviewer1
Dinman, Gabrielle
Interviewer2
Weiss, Selma
Indexer
Axelrod
Collateral Materials
Box 101 FF 29
Identifier
ais196440.120
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh