Protocol Nr. 1358
The persons in question have given us the following information: 70 Jewish families lived in Szentmiklós, most of them were wealthy tradesmen, craftsmen, farmers, carriers. The above-named Kalus family had a mill, a house, and land and the Kleins had land and a house. Both families lived in very good financial circumstances. One day after Passover, military gendarmes came in the Jewish flats and we had to pack up within moments. Each person was allowed to take packages with him up to 50 kilos altogether. 5 minutes later they chased us into the local school, from where they took us by car to the ghetto in the brickyard of Munkács. In those days, István Irányi was the chief notary in Szentmiklós and he collected the belongings of all the Jews and had them taken to the synagogue. Then, in the evening he had the best part of the things selected and had them taken to his flat, while they auctioned off the inferior ones. We heard of these later in the ghetto. We spent four weeks in the ghetto of the brickyard. After searching us Dávid Klein submitted 16,000 pengős, but the gendarmerie found it to be too little, because chief notary Irányi called their attention to me separately, and they said that I had 50,000 pengős and gold articles too. The sergeant gendarme was hitting me with an axe- handle until I confessed where I had hidden my jewels. On the basis of that they explored the place I indicated and later I heard that they interned those peasants who accepted my possessions to be hidden with them. The sergeant’s name was Üveges. They made up every kind of torture in the ghetto; among other things, we had to go to work at 12 o’clock at night, while they were beating us cruelly. We set off on 22nd May; they crammed 80-90 people in a cattle car. They did not give us water when we started. When we arrived in Kassa the Germans took over from the gendarmes, then we already saw that they were not taking us to Hortobágy as they had made us believe, but towards Poland. The Germans who appeared in Kassa warned us that if somebody tried to escape they would shoot down everybody in the cattle car. They took away all our money in the meantime and threatened us again, saying that if they find more than 10 pengős on somebody, they would shoot down him too. Nobody died in our cattle car, but there were many people killed in the others. Three days later we arrived in Auschwitz, where Polish prisoners dressed in striped clothes received us at the train station and told us that nobody could take baggage with him, they had to be left in the cattle car. Then we got off and they made us stand up in lines of five and they separated the men from the women. They deluded the separated families with the idea that they would gather on Sunday and they could meet then. They drove us along the way leading to the crematorium in quick pace; we saw the smoking chimneys, we smelt the smell of burning. It was late in the evening and we saw a fearful sight: the chimneys were practically spewing fire. From there they drove us to the bath; there they cut our hair, they shaved us, took away our clothes and left us only our shoes, but later they took those too. We were taken to Camp A. From there we got to the Gypsy Lager, 1,000 people in a block, 10-12 people on a bunk. The provisions: for 4 days we did not receive anything apart from some bitter tea, because they were driving us from one place to another and by the time the bread was distributed, we had been taken already to another block. We were only allowed to go to the toilet or the bathroom if five of us went clinging to each other. Three of our compatriots worked in the crematorium; we heard that they wanted to escape but they did not manage and they were shot down. We did not work in Auschwitz, all our work was to line up for roll call twice a day. We were standing for hours and the counting always failed to be successful; meanwhile they were beating us. Actually they beat us as well when we did not stand upright; then they even made us do physical exercises. They selected us once a month; that is how we got to a transport of labourers in Buchenwald. The journey was 2 days long. 50 of us were travelling in a cattle car; we received a slice of bread, some margarine and sausage for the journey. When we arrived in Buchenwald they accommodated us in tents. 24 of us lay on shavings on the ground without blankets, on a space of 3-4 metres. We did not work there yet, since it was a selection camp. From there we were taken to Zeit, near Leipzig, where we worked in an ironworks, 12 hours a day. Our place of work was about 6 kilometres from the camp; we went barefoot in the winter, we had to put our shoes on our shoulders and the road was full of shards of glass, but we had to keep pace precisely. The truncheons of the SS worked on those who fell behind, since there were naturally many of them, but they also beat us with rifle butts. The SS men there were mostly Transylvanian Saxons. Later we moved closer to the place of work and we built a camp there, and in December they built a winter camp in Rheimsdorf, where we stayed for two weeks. The soup was bad and about 30 people died from diarrhoea a day. Even that soup was given to us once a day, in the evening. From there we went to Bergen-Belsen, we covered that distance in one day. That was a new camp yet, there were no water pipes in it and we could not wash, so we became totally infested with lice. We worked at the building of underground factories; we bore tunnels and did earthwork, which was very hard. We worked 12 hours a day. Our guards were soldiers of the Wehrmacht; they treated us better, but there always was an SS man between two Wehrmacht soldiers. Soon the Americans were approaching and we were evacuated from the battles; they drove us away on foot. The march was three weeks long, at the end of it we ran in all directions. We were under the surveillance of SS men and they enclosed the forest; we slept in the open air in the forest and we had nothing to eat. We ate raw potatoes, sometimes we received 2 decilitres of coffee, but we had to queue up for it for hours. There was such a crowd there that they beat the swarming people with rifle butts; they beat many of them to death. A German communist political prisoner warned us that we should run away if we could, because Oberscharführer Schwartzbau wanted to have every Jewish prisoner shot down. Having heard this we all scattered. We stayed there in the forest for four days. We had no food with us. This happened on 22nd and 23rd April. It was sleeting so we could not tolerate it any longer and we went to a village and registered there; we said we were Hungarians but not Jews. We spent 4 weeks with a German family; we waited there until the war ended. The American troops came in on the day of ceasefire, 8th May; they took us to Zwickau, and from there, back to Karlsbad. We stayed there for 8 days, then we went to Chemnitz and Prague. From there we came to Budapest through Pozsony. Our plans for the future: The above-named younger Kalus intends to go to Palestine.