From the testimony of Dr. Mordechai (Ferdinand) Berger
I was born during World War II. During the war I wandered with my parents and two brothers from one place to the other in the Slovak-Hungarian border area in order to hide from the Nazis and local collaborators.... In the second half of 1944, as the Germans retreated and the Russian front moved westwards, the Jews who had remained were ordered to move westwards, away from the front. My parents moved with their three children to a small village by the name of Lip. Porubka at the foot of the Small Tatra mountains. It is an almost unknown place, very close to a bigger township of Lip. Hradok. It was a good place for Jews who wanted to hide without drawing too much attention from their surroundings.
Several months after our arrival, around October 1944, the Slovak uprising broke out. The center of the resurgence was in Banska Bistrica, a regional center in that area. The Germans, who wanted to put down the resistance, bombed the area and brought the army. The partisans fled from the villages and hid in the mountains. One of these places was called Brtkovica. The arrival of the Germans made it impossible for the Jews to stay, and they fled too. The resistance was quelled and the remaining partisans returned home, but the Jews had to stay in the mountains, because the Germans were all over the place.
Winter came. The cold and snow were too much for me (I was three years old). Olga, then a girl of 17, would come up from time to time and bring food to the hiding people. On one of these occasions my parents asked her if she would take me in until the end of the war. Olga had two younger sisters and a mother, who was about 40 years old, by the name of Maria. (I know nothing about her father). When Olga was asked if she would take me, she assumed the responsibility and gave a positive answer, without even asking her mother. She said: 'We have three mouths to feed, what's the difference if there will be four?' This is how I got to the Chomova home. For the next five months I stayed with Maria Chomova, and her daughter Olga treated me as if I were her son.
Hiding with me were another two (adult) Jews. One was called Markus Berger (by coincidence the same last name as my own) and the other was called Bloch (his first name is unknown). Maria Chomova had us sleep in one room. She had dug a hole in the room's floor. When the Germans were in the area, the two adults would go down to the hole, the top would be covered and the two beds would be placed above it to hide the place.
At the end of the war my parents came down from the mountains and took me back....
Since the end of the war there was no contact between my family and the two ladies. In the first years after the war we were busy rebuilding our lives and soon we immigrated to Israel. When the iron curtain came down, no contact or visit was possible.
When the Communist regime in Eastern Europe collapsed, we went to visit Czechoslovakia – first my brother (a year ago) and then myself (this summer). We were very pleased to find Maria Chomova alive. At the age of 87 she lives in the very same house and in the very same poor conditions. Her daughter Olga, today 65 years old, lives in the nearby town – Lip. Hradok.
The reunion was most emotional. They told us that they had hoped all these years that one day they would again see "their son" Ferdinand.