Eduard Kornfeld

(born on 3 January 1929 in Veľký Meder, died in September 2020) Prisoner number: 112147

Yes and I always wanted, somehow I wanted a number, because then I knew I would be assigned with work. And I wanted to leave Auschwitz, because there were selections time and again.

– Eduard Kornfeld about the forced labor

List of sources
Together with his elder brother, Eduard Kronfeld spent several years living illegally in Hungary. Source: Gamaraal Foundation

Eduard Kornfeld was born on 3 January 1929 in the Slovakian Veľký Meder (Groß-Magendorf in German). His family spoke German and were orthodox. In 1942, after Slovakia had become a satellite state of the German Reich, the deportations of Jewish citizens began.


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The 13-year old Eduard Kornfeld and his 15-year old brother were sent by their parents to Hungary to protect them from being seized by the SS. Their parents and the remaining four siblings were to follow them shortly afterwards. A farmer illegally smuggled the brothers over the Hungarian border on 7 May 1942, where they were received by a Jewish farmer lady. She brought them to her relatives in Budapest. There, they soon discovered that the rest of their family had been deported to Auschwitz concentration camp.

Budapest marked the start of living in illegality for the brothers. They hid themselves in Talmud schools and cinemas. While his brother successfully went into hiding in Budapest, Eduard reported himself to the Hungarian police as a Slovakian refugee – in the hope of being able to stay.

I knew it, now it’s our turn, selection is now taking place. Mengele and soldiers with guns appeared. We had to stand in ranks like soldiers, (…) we had to undress. We only had jackets and the first row comes forward, drops their trousers, for instance. And it continues like that. Then he selects individuals, perhaps of 100, 110 he took out seven, eight, it varied. And I knew that meant the gas chambers.

– Eduard Kornfeld about selections

List of sources

In 1944 he was first deported to Landsberg/Kaufering concentration subcamp complex, then to Augsburg concentration subcamp, and to the Dachau concentration subcamp, Riederloh. When the latter became afflicted by a typhus epidemic, Kornfeld was transferred to Landsberg/Kaufering concentration subcamp complex again in January 1945. In April, he was evacuated to Dachau concentration camp, where he was liberated on 29 April 1945 by US American soldiers.

Kornfeld returned to Slovakia in July 1945. He then lived in Switzerland together with his wife and their three children.