Protocol Nr. 133

scanned image
Name: P. M.
Gender: female
Place of birth: Szatmárnémeti (Szaplonca)
Date of birth: 1923
Place of residence: Szatmárnémeti
Occupation: housewife
Concentration: Szatmárnémeti ghetto
Camps: Auschwitz, Görlitz

The person in question has given us the following information: There were around 60,000 families in Szatmárnémeti, who were Jews. They were tradesmen and craftsmen but there were also doctors and lawyers among them. There were very rich and very poor people there but the latter came mostly from the neighbouring areas. I lived with my aunt as my parents had died and I had no properties at all. Antisemitic measures were taken first in 1940. It was the Mayor Dr László Csóka who took these measures. They seized shops, workshops, possessions. Dr Béla Sárközi was a great antisemite in town and beat the Jews for the slightest reasons. We called him a second Hitler. In a decree, he had people deported to Galicia by detectives without the instruction of higher authorities. No one could defy his measures. A great number of Arrow Cross men lived here, and there was intense anti-Semitism in the place. People hated Jews a lot, or rather not Jews but the fact that they worked hard and lacked nothing. The members of the Jewish Council respected only our interests and supported us as much as they could. The president was a man called Davidovits, who was also the president of the religious community. The 15th of April, 1944, on the order of Police Councillor Dr Béla Sárközi we went to the ghetto. Detectives and gendarmes were responsible for this process. When we left the flat, gendarmes put a seal on everything and that is all we know of our belongings since then. The ghetto was in the centre of town where the gendarmes gathered us. When they came to collect us, gendarmes seized our money, silver candelabra, and valuables. They took also the wine of my uncle. We could take underwear, food, blankets, and mattresses into the ghetto. The rest of our belongings remained in the flat. The ghetto was enclosed and we were guarded by gendarmes and policemen, while inside Jewish policemen kept order. All Jews of the country were there, I do not know their number but there were many. In a street there were as many as 20,000 Jews. We were pretty much crammed, 15 of us sleeping in a small room. There were so many of us lying on the floor that you could not cross the room, there was no room for a bed, not even for a wardrobe. Food was supplied by the religious community. We still had some reserves but the poor got food in the soup kitchen. ### and girls were taken away for work. We were very anxious as we ### knew what was going to happen, that they would take us away and we would not survive. Gendarmes told us nothing regarding where they were going to bring us. Many tried to escape but almost all of them were captured, brought back and punished. Jews were gathered here also from prisons. Attempts to escape failed because we were enclosed all around and guarded well. Some committed suicide, mostly doctors. Some died naturally. No one got robbed in the ghetto. A gendarme captain gave the order for deportation. They told us we were taken away to a slaughterhouse. The rest of the population said nothing when we were being deported. We could take food and clothes with us. We were 95 in a cattle car together with children and luggage, crammed like herrings so that we could not move. In some cars there were somewhat less people, but in some cars there were even more. They did not even give us water or a bucket for the toilet, later we got a hold of it ourselves. We first got water from German soldiers in Kassa after long pleading. 30 locked cars made up the train. No one died; but the sick were mixed with the healthy. Hungarians escorted the train till Kassa but before they handed it over to the Germans they took our gold, money and valuables, claiming that we were going to be shot anyway. We did not try to get away anymore, as there was no chance for success. The transport came to Auschwitz the 8th of May. German officers waited for us and unlocked the cars where we had to leave our entire luggage. We were separated according to sex and age. Older prisoners were shouting that children should keep with old ladies. I saw Dr Mengele, who stood there holding a stick and indicating a soldier to which side each of us had to stand. The young went to the left side, the old to the right side. Those who were on the right side were taken into the crematorium. After we got disinfected they led us into a block. This meant only a roof above our head as we lay on the ground. There were no berths or other kind of beds. We got no food for two days so people started to faint. In the baths they took all our belongings, cut our hair and gave us clothes. Their nasty joke was to give big clothes to the slim while the fatter got really tight clothes. They put a cross on the back of our clothing so one could see from afar that we were prisoners. At the beginning, we did not have to work. What we had to do was to get up at 1:30 am and turn out for roll call (Appell) in thin clothes in cold and fog. Till 7-8 in the morning we stood there, barefoot since they had taken our shoes as well and gave us wooden shoes instead. We had to stand with closed legs. If someone moved his or her legs they were punished. If the Appell was not going well, or someone was missing out of the 32,000 people, the whole camp had to stay on their knees because of one person. They wanted to shoot the person who hid once but let her get away with it if she kissed the feet and hands of the guard. This woman was already half mad. Often we stood for 2 hours in the greatest heat. Many lost consciousness but no one gave them water. We could not move but had to stand there till 9 pm when we could re-enter and got some bread and margarine and lay down on the planks. We had nothing to use as covers although we had to undress. We were lying and hardly closed our eyes when we had to line up for roll call again. At 7 am we re-entered to get some sleep when at 8 am we had to report for roll call again. During roll calls the weak were selected and taken away. If someone put on a shawl, she was terribly beaten, 25 blows with a baton. There was a new selection when we had to undress, and were taken into the baths naked and later into Camp B2. It was in June, and it was somewhat better here. We got tattoos. We had to work carrying bricks. The first day, we received a double portion but later, food was like in the former camp. Sometimes, if we could we stole some pieces of potatoes. One day they brought a great number of Polish people into the camp, and the more we were the longer the roll calls lasted. 4 weeks later, after a selection they transported us into Görlicz, to an ammunition factory. We lived in a camp surrounded by wires and were not allowed to talk to anyone. There were French, Belgians, Dutch, and Russians here, and if someone was caught talking to the other they cut off his or her hair, also if we stole a single potato. The Lagerältester, who had a Czech name, killed a vast number of men. If someone stole a carrot, he or she got 25 blows which were equal to an assassination. There were 1,500 men but not even 150 survived. They were passing away fast because they were full of lice also. When someone wanted to talk to his brother in Camp "B" and was caught, he was shot. There was a girl called Ella Treiber with her mother in camp "C". After a selection they were separated. The girl went to the wire fence to say a few words to her mother. The guard noticed her from the watchtower and shot her in the head in front of her mother. This happened also to two brothers. We stayed in Görlitz until the liberation and worked for an aircraft and ammunition plant twelve hours a day either in night or day shifts, changing every week. It was dangerous to work in the factory as there were several explosions, taking the lives of many. If Russian bombers came and there were bombings and blasts we Jews were not allowed to go into the cellar but had to go on working while other nationalities could go down. In Auschwitz there were daily selections. Food was full of grass and weeds, and grated our teeth. When we could not eat it we gave it to Czech Jews who did not even have this kind of food. Although there were electric wires separating us, we still helped them. All day we carried dead bodies to death chambers. Every day around 40-60 people died. Selected people were taken away. We do not know where. In the Czech camp, men and women were taken away for work. One night the old and the children were thrown naked onto a truck. Children were crying and shouting, but no one helped them. They were carried into the crematorium. We saw it clearly and afterwards we were moved into that camp. Unfortunately, many of us had lice. When we were liberated the Lagerführer gave a talk telling us we were free, we could now tear the number off of our clothes and go wherever we wanted to, but only when they had already left. The 8th of May, the Russians liberated us and treated us very gently and gave us food. I would like to emigrate to Palestine. I feel that is the place for me.
váltás magyarra