Avraham Feierberg, son of Susie and Haim, was born in 1926 in Transylvania, Oradea. After World War I the area was controlled by Romania, but in 1940 the city was again part of Hungary. Avraham’s family was religious with a strong connection to Zionism. When he was 17 years old, Avraham moved to Budapest to study to be a locksmith.
In March 1944, the Germans officially occupied Hungary and imposed Nazi-fascist rule and put the Jews in ghettos. When Avraham heard this, he wanted to return home to be with his mother and brother. His teacher, with whom he also lived, told him that if he returned, he would be sent to his death, and suggested that he remain under his care and marry his daughter. Avraham refused since loyalty to the family was vital to him. His teacher gave him an Arrow Cross uniform and sent him on his way. When he reached Oradea, he asked to enter the ghetto, the policeman who saw him in uniform tried to stop him. When he insisted, the barrier was lifted, and he entered. Avraham was sent with his family to Auschwitz in May 1944. The last thing he remembered was his mother telling him right before she was sent to the gas chambers, to look after his little brother, Yehuda Zisi.
His brother died two weeks later from typhus and a feeling of guilt accompanied him for the rest of his life. At Auschwitz, he worked in an explosives factory. Avraham became a protégé of the Polish foreman in the factory, a prisoner of war, who shared the red cross meals he received from his family. Towards November 1944, he marched on the death march and arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp. In 1945, after his liberation from the concentration camp, Avraham made Aliya to Israel together with the youth group and arrived at Kibbutz Givat Brenner. From there he moved to Jerusalem and worked in the Friedman factory for ovens and the owner, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from Hungary, adopted him as a son. When Avraham was asked why he had joined the resistance, he replied that one day he was walking in Jerusalem and saw a (British) policeman hitting a Jewish boy with a stick. This reminded him of Auschwitz, and he swore he wouldn’t let it pass. He asked Shmariahu Friedman to connect him to an underground organization. And that’s how he found the Lehi. In 1947 he joined Lehi in Gush Dan under Ya’akov Grenek “Dov” and Epharim Firstenberg “Fiske”.
He participated in the battle for Dir Yassin. In 1949 he married Esther and they lived in Tel Aviv. He worked for the Electric company and Shaham in Iran and Israel. He was very proud to take part in the assembly of the National Water Carrier. Avraham was a man blessed with many talents and especially a gifted chess player. In the difficult days of austerity, he added to his income through chess games. But above all, he was a humble, loving and family-oriented man who sought to leave the Holocaust behind. In the mid-1950s, he had plastic surgery to remove the serial number from his arm. He said: “I was reborn in Buchenwald”.
Modesty and love were the legacy he instilled in his children. Avraham died on June 16th, 2001 and was laid to rest in the Lehi section of Yarkon Cemetery. His tombstone is engraved with the sentence: “Only death can release us from our duty.” (Yair)