The Ovitz Family had 12 family members; 7 of them were dwarves. They were the largest dwarf family in history, and with their talent, they toured all around different countries as actors and musicians.
Not just the largest recorded family of dwarves, the Ovitz Family survived with resolve from the cruel torture they faced in Auschwitz, escaping the fatal fixation of Josef Mengele himself.
The Ovitz Family
The largest recorded family of dwarves was the famous Ovitz family, a Jewish family with traveling musicians and actors. Brana Fuchter, the first wife of dwarf Shimson Eizik Ovitz who was of average height, gave birth to two dwarf children: Rozika and Franzika. The second wife of Ovitz, Batia Bertha Husz, who was also of average tallness, birthed eight children, with five of her children being dwarves: Avram, Freida, Micki, Elizabeth, and Piroska/Pearl. In total, Shimson had ten children, seven of them dwarves.
Because most of her children were dwarves, nervousness filled the mother’s heart, and she pushed them to a career path that would not deny their capabilities and shun them from society. The dwarf children were musically gifted, which aided them in their jobs as entertainers. (Source: Guardian)
What Did The Family Do for Work?
Most dwarves took on jobs as entertainers; the family stayed true to that. They performed together as a family, establishing the Lilliput Troupe. They traveled throughout Romania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, singing songs and playing their music on small instruments in the 1930s and 1940s. The ensemble sang songs in Yidding, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, and German. The dwarves performed at the main stage while their tall relatives aided in the backstage operations.
At the beginning of the dreaded World War II, when Hungary took control of Northern Transylvania in the 1940s, laws forbade Jewish entertainers to cater to non-jews. Despite that, the Ovitz family continued to perform for people when they’ve gained access to papers that excluded their Jewish religion. They toured as usual until May 1944, when the whole family was deported to Auschwitz. Arie, a son of Batia with average height, was later executed when they found him after he escaped from the roundup. (Source: Guardian)
Ovitz: The Survivors in Auschwitz
Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Angel of Death, referred to them as “his dwarf family,” reviving them from the gas chambers. Dr. Mengele developed a fixation on the Ovitz family, seeing them as potential test subjects. The Ovitz family piqued his interest because they had both dwarf and averaged-height members. He separated them from the other Jewish inmates; eleven other inmates declared themselves as members of the Ovitz family, and Dr. Mengele had them entirely moved.
They were monitored in their isolated, personal living quarters. They provided the Ovitz Family with better living conditions: better hygienic conditions, better food, and better bedclothes were given to them to sustain their health needs as his test subjects. When venturing towards the experimentation sites, the taller family members were forced to carry the dwarf members.
The Ovitz family was a victim of various forms of cruel torture in the facade of tests and research.
The doctors under Mengele collected teeth, hair, and bone marrow from the family to deduce genetic disorders. Chemical drops blinded the family, and gynecologists investigated the married women. Shimshon Ovitz, the eighteen-month-old, suffered the most. They collected blood from him daily, behind his ears and on his fingers. The dwarf family witnessed the death and boiling of two new dwarves for a museum exhibition. The Ovitz family expected the same fate for themselves.
They lived long enough to revel in the freedom of Auschwitz in January 1945. The Ovitz family ultimately survived their fatal imprisonment in Auschwitz. (Source: Guardian)