Secret Notes

Alex Hacker recorded the events of his concentration camp imprisonment in a secret notebook. In Dora on 10 February 1945, he made a special entry: “And here I will enter the date when I see my dear and beloved mother and my father once again in health.

Hacker had already spent several months in camps. After the German occupation of Hungary in the spring of 1944, the 18-year-old was committed to a camp for Jewish forced labourers. In the late autumn, he was deported to Germany – initially to the Flossenbürg concentration camp, and shortly thereafter to Mittelbau-Dora. After ten days of forced labour in a construction detachment, he collapsed and was taken to the infirmary.

His technical training saved his life. He was transferred to maintenance work, where the conditions were less gruelling. In April he was sent to Bergen-Belsen, and it was there that he was liberated. On 28 August 1945, he was finally able to enter the missing date in his notebook: he was back home with his parents in Budapest.

(Karsten Uhl)


Reference: Jens-Christian Wagner (ed.), Vernichtung und Arbeit: Jüdische Häftlinge im KZ Mittelbau-Dora, Nordhausen and Weimar 2014.