Protocol Nr. 140
The persons named above have given us the following information: Around 25,000 Jews lived in Munkács. They were tradesmen, craftsmen, doctors, and lawyers. In general, people lived well, I also worked and lacked nothing. The first antisemitic rules were passed in 1939. They confiscated factories, shops, lands and other properties. In 1942, robbing and murdering was legal. One night my younger brother was coming home when he was hit with a side-arm on the head and was thrown into the river Latorca. Several times they beat up our father and mother. This happened on the order of a military official; I do not remember his name. The ghetto was placed in the centre of town. It started to function the 15th of April, 1944. It was enclosed by a high wooden wall and was guarded outside by the Hungarian police and by members of the Gestapo, while there were Jewish policemen inside. The ghetto was in our borough. As far as we know other flats were robbed also. We could keep only a change of clothes, some bedclothes and underwear, too. Members of the Jewish Council, Berger and Klein looked after the ghetto’s food supply. People died in the ghetto both of natural death and as a result of killing. They took us for work in the neighbouring areas and told us we were going to work in our home country, but we did not believe that. The 15th of May, they took us from the ghetto to the brick factory, from where we were put on trains. There were 72 people in our freight car. We had no water but a bucket for toilet. They gave us no food in the car. The train headed towards Kassa, where it was handed over to the German SS. That was when we got water for the first time. We were anyway closed in such a way that even the little venting window was closed. As far as I know no one escaped but I do not think an attempt could have been successful. We already knew where they were taking us: either to the frontline or into Germany. When we got to Auschwitz it was still during the day but we stayed in the car till the night. When they let us get off at 2 am, we saw great flames and were prepared to be burnt in that fire. Where we got off Polish men warned us that those who had children should pass them to the old and walk on. This way they could still hope to survive. Then they took us into disinfecting rooms, cut off all our hair and gave us some ragged clothes that hardly covered some parts of our bodies. They took us from the disinfecting room into one of the blocks where 20 of us wallowed on one bare plank. On the 25th, we got for the first time some green grass as food. We also worked here carrying stones around the camp, drawing water, shovelling and grading sand. There were commandos that repaired shoes. I worked with my younger sisters also in these places. Every week there were selections. Those did not see well were selected and taken to the crematorium together with the sick. You couldn’t do anything against it. These selections were headed by doctor Mengele and usually ended in choosing a few hundred people. Around 10-20 people died daily in other ways. They also punished us. For example, they cut off our hair or beat us when we stole a piece of potato. Roll calls were terrible. We had to stand in rain, in snow, from 4 am till 7-8 am, but if they felt like it, we could also stand there all day long. We felt faint all the time, we were also weak and the food was quite awful. In the morning we got some coffee, at noon half a litre (but sometimes even less) of grass. If it was half a litre, we felt rich. In the evening they gave us around 100 grams of bread. We washed during the night in secret. When people were selected there was a Blocksperre, which meant that we were not allowed to move, to wash or to go to the toilet till the roll call. While they were there we could not move and were constantly watched. There was Blocksperre, too, when transports arrived: these times we were locked in. In some cases men threw in some food from the other camp but touched the electric wires by chance and died. Everyone had to sign that these men died of natural death and were not killed. If they caught us accepting something they beat us up terribly while they punished these men on the other side also. From Auschwitz we went to Ravensbrück, where we stayed for 2 weeks. First, we were put up in tents before they let us enter a block. An owner of an aircraft plant picked here the people he wanted and took us into Barth, to the Henkel plane factory. We had to work 14 hours a day, for 2 weeks in night shifts, for 2 weeks in day shifts. Food was awful here also, and we had to work extremely hard. We all became extremely thin and were destroyed. The 1st of April, they took us into another aircraft plant in a forest. It was terribly cold there. We stayed in a damp building for 4 weeks. For two weeks I lay with a temperature of 40 degrees without medical care or medicine. I heard we were going to be evacuated so I stopped measuring my temperature and kept with my sisters as I was worried to be left behind. As they tried to separate brothers and sisters we kept secret as much as we could the fact that we were sisters, hence we could remain together. (Berger Magda says) In Barth, in the aircraft plant one of my fingers got very swollen and started to bleed heavily when a Russian woman doctor operated on it. It is still maimed. (Berger Frida says) Once I was lying with a temperature in the hospital when doctor Mengele did the selection, and we were waiting for the vehicle that would have carried us away. My older sister snatched me out through the window of the toilet so I managed to avoid the crematorium. Once, during selection they shot people in the camp when they tried to run away because they got selected for crematorium. We have not seen our parents since our mother went with our little sister and stayed with her. The 2nd of May, we were liberated by the Russians and received food and clothes. These were our personal experiences. We have relatives in the USA, we would like to go there.