Protocol Nr. 136
The persons in question have given us the following information: In November 1944, the Szálasi government was already on the rampage in the country and especially in Budapest. I lived in a starred house with my parents and brothers and sisters. Searching houses was already habitual. At night policemen, soldiers and Arrow Cross men would come either separately or together, they would claim they were looking for weapons or broadcasting stations and would steal whatever they found and liked. Together with the loot they picked also one or two Jews. Every evening we lay down with terror as we did not know what would happen during the night, and we were also scared of the following day, of the unpleasant happenings it was going to bring about. We were scared to look out the window as everyday there was a new placard that concerned us, which curbed our human rights and humiliated us. It happened that we could not leave the house for days. Other days when someone would go out in the permitted time span he or she would never return. We knew that we could not go on staying like this for long but we did not know how the villains would come down on us. One day at dawn, Arrow Cross men appeared in the house and collected all men younger than 60. They were taken into Germany and to date only a very small fraction of them has returned. The 6th of November, at 6 am, the Arrow Cross and the police came back and now they took away all women between the age of 18 and 60. I was also among them. They led us into a brick factory, which lay in the neighbourhood of Budapest three hours walk from the centre. In order to torture us all the more we had to walk so slow in pouring autumn rain standing sometimes for hours in the same place that we arrived in the factory only by 10 pm. We walked in an awful terror. In the brick factory the Arrow Cross beat up people. They seized wedding rings, watches, jewellery and money. We stayed here for 24 hours. We could have eaten what we had taken from home but we were not able to eat because of anxiety. Finally, delegates of the Swiss Embassy arrived and freed everyone who had a letter of protection, and lodged us in a Swiss protected house, in the so- called “international ghetto.” A few days later, the Arrow Cross invaded also this “protected house” and randomly singled out people - among them also me. They took us into a building in Teleki Square No. 3, and entrained us a week later. There were 70 people in a freight car, and we had already finished our food, and brought no food with us. They did not put in the car water or a bucket. We got 30-40 grams of bread but not every day. We travelled for 19 days under these horrible circumstances; back from Germany into Austria and Hungary, and again back into Germany, since they did not want to accept us in any of the places. First, they opened the doors in Vienna. On the way two people died; it was horrible to travel together with two corpses. When finally we arrived in Bergen-Belsen we could get off car only on all fours because we had become so enfeebled. In Bergen-Belsen they disinfected us and cut the hair off. They grabbed our clothes and gave us striped clothes. We were crammed into a single barrack. There were three beds one above the other and 19-20 slept in a bed. We slept on the floor without covers. If someone went out during the night she had to find her way crossing our bodies. One night one of the top beds fell off. Several people were crushed. We could not light the room and there was panic, people started screaming. Hearing the clamour an SS soldier entered and blind in the dark started giving blows with the baton hitting everyone he reached. The most awful experience had been when we arrived and had to take off all our clothes. If someone wanted to keep on a piece of cloth he or she was beaten up with a dog whip. After a hot bath we had to stand nude in the snow for hours and wait till they brought us clothes, our new striped dresses. They shoved the clothes at us but we could not put them on; we had to carry them in our hands and walk nude and barefoot in that terrible cold towards our barrack. I will never forget the image of an elderly woman, who was unable to stand during Appell, being beaten with a dog whip. Bergen-Belsen was a horrible camp. That time it was already full of people sick with typhus. There was no water; we could not wash our bodies or clothes. All of us got lice and they probably made me suffer more than hunger. Vans full of cadavers kept going towards the crematorium and the constant smell above the camp was horrible. Later, we were taken into Raguhn, which was a camp for labourers, and we worked 12 hours a day for an aircraft factory. The work itself was not very hard but working hours were extremely long and rations very little. We only got 200 grams of bread and half a litre of soup a day. The camp was anyway relatively clean, without lice, and we slept in a heated place. However, several people fell ill with typhus also here, and no one cared about the sick. Great numbers of people died also here. When the Americans got closer they put us again in freight cars and now we travelled for 8 days. For two days we got nothing to eat, later sometimes a little bit of bread. As it has been demonstrated Germans had poisoned the food and bread. Finally, we arrived in Theresienstadt where Russians liberated us two days later.