Jan Braun at age 10
Gift of John Balan
Id no. 692.98, Photograph
Subject(s):  Image, Children
This is a photograph of Jan Braun (b. 1934, later John) in 1944 at age 10. Jan?s parents, Alexander and Cornelia, were both born as a Jews, but had converted and had Jan baptized in 1938. The family hoped this would offer them some protection from the dangers which they feared were imminent for Jews in Bratislava. When the Nazis entered Slovakia, the family began using false documents to hide their Jewish origins. Jan, used documents under several different Slavic sounding names, including Viktor Brakovic, Peter Dubravicky, and Jan Abranic. As the dangers for Jews increased, the Brauns would take refuge in the home of Nora and Karl Palasthy. Nora was one of Jan?s teachers, and had befriended the Brauns. Fearing the frequent roundups, the Brauns began hiding in various other locations, separated even from one another. After the Soviets liberated Slovakia, the members of the Braun family emerged from their various hiding places, reunited, and adopted the last name Balan. They moved to the United States in 1948.

Discover more about this artifact and other stories from the Museum?s collection in, ?To Life: 36 Stories of Memory and Hope? http://www.pickmanmuseumshop.com/tolif36storo.html.
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