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Gábor Hirsch was born into a Neolog-Jewish family in Bekescsaba in 1929, where he spent the early years of his childhood. On June 29/1944/ at the age of 15/ Gábor Hirsch was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Hungarian authorities, along with 1,900 other Jews of his hometown, including his mother, grandmother, aunt, and cousins. More than one hundred of the deported children were killed in the gas chambers upon arrival. Gábor Hirsch was among the few who were considered qualified to work and thus remained imprisoned in Birkenau until the liberation. The book Gábor Hirsch set out to write is not a traditional memoir. Rather, it is a detailed and meticulously researched history of the life of the Jewish people in Békéscsaba before and during the Holocaust. Supported by painstakingly pieced together sources including documents, newspaper articles, and transport lists from numerous different archives, as well as testimonies of other survivors, Hirsch succeeds in piecing together a mosaic of local history previously skimmed over by historical researchers. In a unique way, the historical background is interwoven with scenes of personal remembrance, including selections on the high religious holidays in the Gypsycamp and the last months of his mother's life.
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