The Man Who Escaped From Majdanek: Dionýz Lénard and His Testimony


Ján Hlavinka

ISBN: 978-80-224-2043-3

Vydavateľstvo: Historický ústav SAV, v. v. i. vo VEDA – Vydavateľstvo Slovenskej akadémie vied
Rok vydania: 2023
Počet strán: 151
Väzba: mäkká
Formát: 148×210 mm
Hmotnosť: 208 g
Dostupnosť: Na sklade

Katalógové číslo: 2023-004 Kategória: Značka:


Between March 25 and October 20, 1942 more than 57.700 Jews were deported from Slovakia to Nazi concentration camps, death camps and ghettos in the territory of occupied Poland. The majority of transports were directed to the Lublin district. Jewish people stepped into the cattle wagons of transport trains with little information on their purpose, or even their direction. They thought they would be taken to a place of forced labor; later, they believed they were to be resettled. In fact these were the transports which were bringing victims of the Nazi “Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe” to the place where they were to be killed. Any forced labor, if the person was selected for it, was only temporary. The final goal of the Nazis was the genocide of Jews. A couple of weeks after the beginning of deportations, the first signs and details on their actual purpose reached Slovakia. They in fact superseded all previous doubts and fears of the Jews living in Slovakia. This book is dedicated to one of the first witnesses of the crime, a man who escaped from Lublin district and managed to return to Slovakia in July 1942 and provide testimony on what he had seen and experienced. Dionýz Lénard was a young Slovak Jew from the town of Žilina. He was deported in one of the first transports of Jews from Slovakia. The Nazis directed this transport straight to Lublin and imprisoned Lénard in the Majdanek concentration camp. Lénard spent several weeks in Majdanek. He witnessed and suffered from terrible crimes. His (partially preserved) testimony became one of the most comprehensive and most important testimonies of its kind. Even Ján Hlavinka though it was previously published in Hebrew, German and Polish, it has never been published in Slovak. Even though this particular book is focused on one goal, which is to provide the Slovak reader the opportunity to read Lenard’s testimony, it also goes beyond this. The first chapter is actually the first attempt at a complete biographical profile of Lénard. It aims to answer questions about who he was and what happened to him after his return to Slovakia. Historians believed Lénard later escaped to Hungary from Slovakia and then vanished without a trace. Some believed he died together with Hungarian Jews in 1944. This book also presents previously unknown facts about Lénard’s life: For example, that he was captured in Slovakia in late November 1944 and subsequently deported from Sereď concentration camp to Sachsenhausen and later to Buchenwald’s sub-camp Ohdruf and Bergen-Belsen. Even though he is recorded on a list of survivors of Buchenwald, he never got in touch with his sister, the only family member who survived the Shoah.

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