Protocol Nr. 1448

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Name: H. E.
Gender: female
Place of birth: Huszt
Date of birth: 1927
Place of residence: Huszt
Occupation: housewife
Ghetto: Huszt
Camps: Auschwitz, Reichenbach, Parschnitz, Kratzau

The person in question has given us the following information: I had four siblings: our father was a simple man and our mother was a very intelligent woman. After finishing the eight grades of elementary school, my mother taught me how to do needlework. My mother died three years ago. I have suffered a lot since I was 13 and my mother fell ill. We lived without a mother for one year, then, when I could not bear the plenty of housework any longer, I asked my father to get married. I loved my stepmother; she was a very good woman. I had two younger sisters and two little brothers. My father was a mechanic; he worked very hard before he was taken to the ghetto, but he always supported his family nicely. Last year after Passover, gendarmes appeared and took us to the great synagogue. We brought some luggage with us. We spent three days there, then we were taken to the ghetto. The doors and windows facing the street were nailed shut and gendarmes guarded us. We stayed there for four weeks. They formed two transports from us and set us forth. We were put in the second group. We, with our few belongings, were taken to the brickyard at three o’clock on a Thursday. There they examined our luggage. A local midwife called Mrs. Sárosi examined us, women, to find out whether we had hidden some valuables. They scarcely left anything with us. The gendarmes behaved in an awful way as well. I am ashamed to recall what happened even now, after so many things. Our suffering did not end before the evening, then they put 68 people in our cattle car, they locked us up and set us off. We prepared a toilet and we got water, but only the Geman soldiers gave us some. After three days of travelling we arrived in Auschwitz. When we arrived in Auschwitz and got out of the train they separated us from my family before I noticed what was happening. Everything happened suddenly within a minute, like in a magical trick, and I was left with my stepmother and my younger sister. We were put in block No. 16. There they bathed us, stripped us and we received civilian clothes; of course, they took away our own clothing. When we got out from there, we looked at each other crying and laughing. It was such a sight one cannot imagine. Even the closest relatives did not recognize each other. We received some grass soup at noon; sand was crunching between our teeth and the food was full of stones. We could not eat for five weeks. We were given 250 grams of bread in the evening, and a little jam or margarine. We received some tea at dawn but I did not go for it because I could not fight, while they endeavoured to turn us into animals as much as possible and, unfortunately, in many cases they were successful. Hunger, being stripped, inhuman treatment and being without clothes all added to our becoming indifferent and being deprived of our human nature. After six weeks my stepmother was selected from us. Selections were always made and we stayed for another two weeks in Auschwitz, then my sister and I were chosen for a transport. We travelled by passenger train and we were given food for the journey. Then we arrived at a nice newly built camp in Reichenbach. We furnished our rooms ourselves and everybody had a separate bed. It was a very clean place and we were expected to keep it brilliantly tidy. We worked for a plant called Hagenuck; we prepared secret apparatuses. It was a nice and easy sedentary job. We did not have to work much and the food was also very good. We listened to the radio while eating and nobody harmed us. When the frontline was coming nearer, some air raids reached us, but our factory was not hit by them, only the Opel factory was ruined on the opposite side. Thank God, the approaching of the frontline stopped and the more and more frequent bombings ended. The factory was evacuated and we were marched off too. We were marching for six days. That march was already horrible, we went in very cold weather in a horrible snowstorm. SS men were escorting us on the way. We received hot food twice and some bread once during the march. So we arrived in Parschnitz. That camp was very bad. We got half of a loaf of bread and one litre of soup at noon, but we had to work very much. We dug trenches all day long. We, decent girls from Huszt, stuck together in the trouble and supported each other as much as our abilities allowed. After four weeks Dr Mengele appeared, he led the selection. One can imagine what we felt seeing this beast in the nice disguise of a human being, who extinguished the lives of hundreds of thousands or even more people with a motion of his hand. Thank God, he seems not to have been so finicky at that time, because we were accepted and put on a transport. We arrived in Kratzau after a one-day long painful journey in open freight cars. They disinfected all our belongings, then they took them away and left us only one dress. The provisions were good again, but the work was hard. We worked together with Italian and French prisoners of war; they always encouraged us and emboldened us. These people were so good to us and acted in such a comradely way that I cannot express. It is due to them that we survived till the liberation in a relatively acceptable condition. I cannot tell about my future plans until I go home and make certain who has survived from among us.
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