Protocol Nr. 2114

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Name: E. S.
Gender: male
Place of birth: Cigánd
Date of birth: 1917
Place of residence: Budapest
Occupation: plumber
Ghetto: Hatvan
Camps: Auschwitz, Grossrosen, Dachau, Mühldorf

The person in question has given us the following information: Obeying the announcement on placards, I started my labour service on June 4, 1944 in Jászberény. I am one-eyed, therefore I was sent to medical examination to a Budapest military hospital. I was qualified as “to be discharged”. I was on my way back to Jászberény to present the documents, when, together with 630 other fellow labour servicemen, I was made to leave the train at Hatvan by gendarmes under the pretext of an air raid. We were told to leave the station. On the way the gendarmes beat us with whips and rifle butts. On the same night we were taken to the Hatvan ghetto where we were completely plundered; our food was taken away too. Then we were entrained and set off for Auschwitz. For four days we travelled without any food or water, crammed together by eighty in each cattle car. On the way two young men went mad. They were raging, rattling and were beaten to a pulp by the field gendarmes of Kassa. From the very beginning of my Auschwitz stay I worked as a fitter and plumber. At the beginning of October one of the crematoria was to be blown up with hand grenades. The partisans were already close by then, and they were in close touch with the prisoners who acquired explosives from them. Unfortunately we Hungarians could not take part in the uprising. We were considered to be unreliable, as we had fought the Russians, even though the labour servicemen were craving a Russian victory. The members of the Sonderkommando knew that they were to be executed, so that they would not be able to tell anything about what they had seen in the gas chamber and crematoria. Therefore they attempted to blow up the crematorium, to break through the barbed wire and to join the partisans waiting in the neighbouring woods. The crematorium was destroyed by the explosion, but unfortunately 99 percent of the Sonderkommando was killed. Next week eight of us tradesmen were assigned to the crematoria and first we dismantled the destroyed crematorium. When we finished, we were ordered to dismantle the other three crematoria as well. We dismantled iron doors, water pipes and ventilating devices. I saw the gas chamber with my own eyes. It was in a cellar. It was a huge hall with numbered hangers all around along the walls. Large placards in several languages called the attention of those entering to the fact that this was a bath and disinfection hall where everybody was obliged to hang his or her clothes on one of the numbered hangers, and to keep the number in mind so as to easily find it after bath. After getting undressed the victims went nude into the gas chamber, which looked like a shower bathroom. The shower heads were fixed up on the ceiling by nails, but there were no water pipes. There was a shaft driven through the roof to the room through which the cellophane pellets containing the poison gas were thrown in. Once I talked to a man of the Sonderkommando who worked in the gas chamber. He told me that death came within six to eight minutes. During this time the victims had to suffer pains so great that they tore open their throats and bit their fingers. Corpses were found lacking fingers, since the victims had unconsciously bitten them off before dieing. The commander of the crematorium observed this through a peep-hole, waiting for the moment of death. The ventilation was turned on to pump the gas out. The corpses were handed over to prisoners who pulled out golden teeth and carried the dead bodies to an elevator that went up to the crematorium. In the furnace room there were five ovens. The corpses were slid into the ovens on rolls. Aryans were not gassed, but shot in the nape of the neck. This type of execution took place also in the rooms of the crematorium. On January 18 we were set off on foot. We were dragged as far as Breslau where we were entrained. Some days later we reached Gross-Rosen, which was a distributive camp. Two days later we were entrained again. One hundred twenty men were jammed into one open freight car. We spent five days without any food or drink. On arriving in Dachau, 20-30 dead were found in every car. In Dachau we were in quarantine for three weeks. Many died here. Our food was stolen and we were constantly beaten with rubber truncheons, kicked and slapped by the German criminals in green shirts. Three weeks later a transport was put together. We were told that we would work in an aluminium factory. We were taken to Mühldorf. We underwent the greatest sufferings of our whole deportation period here. We became completely ragged; we were teeming with millions of lice. Typhoid fever broke out and we had no medicine. Those who reported as sick sealed their own fate, since the sick were beaten to death. Those getting into hospital were deprived of their golden teeth and other belongings, if they had anything left. They gave an aspirin in exchange for their golden teeth. However there was no medical treatment whatsoever and 80 percent of the sick lying in the hospital died. In Mühldorf we lived on the following schedule. At 4 am we were woken up and got a plain black coffee. Then we lined up for roll call until 7. Beating and kicking was regular. We had our full share of torture of all kinds. Then we marched off to our working place where we had to carry heavy cement sacks the whole day. The Todt-supervisors beat us with sticks all the time. Those who could not drag the sacks any more were stuck into the cement so that they would suffocate or were simply thrown down from the scaffoldings. At noon we got three decilitres of soup; we had to go on working until 6 pm with it. In the evening we got 30 decagrams of bread, one and a half decagrams of margarine or cheese and one and a half litres of soup. In the last days the bread rations were down to 10 decagrams. It even occurred that we did not get any bread for two or three days. On April 26 the camp was evacuated. We were told that we would be taken to another camp in Tyrol, since the Americans were approaching. Some tried to escape, but they were shot down on the spot. A friend of mine, Béla Schwartz, died like this. We were entrained and we were shunted from one station to another for five days. The SS men started to escape. On April 28 the transport leader released us in Poing. He declared that we were free to go where ever we liked and that war was over. There were 2000 of us: ca. 1000 men and also a 1000 women. We dispersed into the surrounding forests and villages. Half an hour later the soldiers and the SS men rounded us up again. The transport leader escaped. More than 300 prisoners were shot down and we were locked up again in the cattle cars. We came under the charge of another transport leader. He declared frankly: “This is your last journey. You will never be free again, but you will die in these cars!” On April 30 American airplanes raided us at Seehof attacking the cattle cars with machine guns. They thought we were soldiers. On the station there was an anti-aircraft gun firing on them and this is why we were machine gunned. We had over 100 dead and 600 injured. From Seehof we were taken to Tutzing where we were liberated by the Americans the next day. I then weighed 39 kilograms and could not stand on my feet. We had not had any food for five days and if another five days had passed like this, we all would have inevitably perished. Under the Americans we were well off. We were taken to Feldafing into the Hitlerjugend Home. When I left for home, ca. 1000 Hungarian Jews were still there. I left with the Czech transport, but got home by myself.
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