Protocol Nr. 3140
The person in question has given us the following information: I was drafted for labour service in Jászberény on 4th June 1944. Our guards and the work were tolerable. Our job was to clean the city. Our accommodation and provisions were correct, so we had not much reason to complain. On 10th August they selected 60 people, whom they took to chop wood in a forest in Transylvania. When we left, since I was one of the 60 people, we got new guards. The new commander was an officer candidate with high school degree, a lance corporal, who openly declared his being an antisemite. He indeed was an antisemite, but in the more noble sense of the word. That is, he did not like Jews, but he was not so wild and ignorant as to inhumanly torture somebody because of his origin. He treated us in a correct manner and he demanded the other labour service guards to do the same. He did not aim at humiliating the labour servicemen or to make them lose their human dignity. We lived at peasant’s houses and supported ourselves with food. The inhabitants, Romanians, were relatively nice. On 17th October I got back to my company in Budapest. We stayed in the capital until 27th November, when they took us away. Meanwhile I received the Swiss safe conduct and that of the Vatican. The whole company got them. We had an excellent new commander too in the person of 2nd Lieutenant Kóródy, who, when they wanted to deport us, always managed to arrange that we stayed. Exactly that was why he was dismissed and we got a captain instead of him. It happened on 24th November. The new captain was a cruel Arrow Cross man. Our life changed within a second. He had us locked up, I would say hermetically, he did not allow our relatives to get in and on 27th November he did not permit the coffee, which had been prepared in the morning to be distributed before we started, although it was officially due. He took us to Józsefváros railway station where they entrained us. 84 of us were pressed in a 10 tons cattle car. We were squeezed into it literally. Everybody received a loaf of bread but there was no water in the cattle car. We lived on that bread till 5th December. In every two days when the train stopped for a longer time, they let one person go. The most awful scenes happened on the train. Some people got fits of madness, they jumped on each other and tore each other’s hair out, they bit each other’s face and ears. We completely lost our self-control. At last, we arrived in Hegyeshalom. Getting off and feeling the fresh air was like redemption. The Germans took us over there. When they had taken us over, they formed groups from us and distributed us to different camps. That is how I got to Bruck, where I stayed till 2nd April. We dug trenches and chopped wood in a forest in Bruck. Our provisions were poor and they always beat us. We got only potatoes to eat. We kept contact with the inhabitants in secret; they brought us political news. They kept encouraging us and we hoped for an early liberation. However, that great moment kept us waiting. The inhabitants tried to help us with food, but later the control of the Hitlerjugend made it impossible. We set off on foot on 2nd April. We went about 20 kilometres, when they put us on a ship. We travelled to Mauthausen by ship. Our journey and the arrival went quite smoothly. They put us up in the open air in Mauthausen so we were exposed to bomb attacks. The trip to there had lasted for 9 days, for which we had received one and a half kilos of bread and 50 grams of margarine. There a big bomb attack reached us, which killed more than 20 people. After 11 days, we went to Günskirchen. In Günskirchen 1,680 of us lived in a barrack which provided room for 500 people. We starved much and many of us died, which was the result of hunger, weakness and illnesses. I know that they intended to kill everybody in the camp, but the Lagerführer postponed to fulfil this order for 7 weeks, and he never did it. We were liberated on 4th May.