Protocol Nr. 1531

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Name: L. G.
Gender: male
Place of birth: Újpest
Date of birth: 1923
Place of residence: Budapest
Occupation: metal polisher
Camps: Bucsu, Mauthausen, Günskirchen

The person in question has given us the following information: The 17th of April, 1944, I was drafted for labour service in Jászberény, from where I went to Budatétény to join the engineer company 101/201 of ironworkers. I worked in a factory as a skilled worker and had a very good life. The owner of the factory was a great friend of Jews and they treated all labour servicemen well. We even got paid. After the 15th of October, when Szálasi’s government came to power I was taken into the Schmidt-mill, where I already worked outside the field of my profession, my job was to carry sacks. It was very dangerous to go back home from here as the Arrow Cross was already on the rampage in the streets of Budapest. The Arrow Cross caught me twice and took me into their headquarters and beat me up brutally. I was not harm in any other way, though. On the 29th of November, they took me to the railway station of Józsefváros, from where I arrived to the community of Bucsu after six days of journey without food or drink. We dug trenches and prepared anti-tank ditches guarded by so- called Politische Leiters and the Arrow Cross. There was an ethnic German man of the Arrow Cross from Sopron, he was called Bruckner, who was Hungarian though he never spoke Hungarian. He shot people out of pleasure, even people at work. We had some bitter coffee in the morning, 400 grams of bread, and some vegetable soup in the afternoon at 4 pm. We lived in tents. Although it was not allowed to light fire we set up an oven in the tent and let the smoke leave from below, this way no one noticed that we had heating. There were potato pits in this area. At 3 am when the guards were less watchful we would sneak out of the tent, and would open up these clamps and each of us would return with a sack of potatoes. Once the guards shot two of our comrades who were out on a potato mission. They risked a lot but if they had not done we would have died of starvation, we would have become extremely weak so we had to risk. When two of our comrades were shot the guard saw that there were more than two out there. The day after he demanded that the Lagerführer handed him over the rest of the participants. As he did not obey the food of the whole company was kept back for a day. When at the end of March Russians started to break through the lines, they made us leave the place on foot. I escaped together with six of my comrades but we were caught, beaten and taken to the Gestapo in Graz. The day after we had to join another group heading towards Mauthausen. On the way we were given food only twice; in the rest of the time we ate grass, snails or rape. In Mauthausen a comrade of mine stole my portion of bread so I gave the thief a nice beating. When they saw that I was good at beating they made me a camp policeman. My job was to guard the food when it was carried to us because starving people used to attack those who carried the food and if they were not strong enough and did not start fighting they got beaten up and a few people made disappear the food that was meant for several hundreds in a few seconds. There were twenty of us, and we got three mess-tins of meal. We had to carry on and leave Mauthausen. They shot the weak people or those who were or out of step. They asked who wanted to work and I volunteered. We had to walk back until a certain point (naturally we were escorted by the SS) and had to collect and bury cadavers. We filled five wagons with cadavers. When I met the first one I wanted to look into his pocket to learn his identity but they did not let me do so. We got every day double rations of food for this work. There were a lot of people crammed into the camp of Günskirchen. You could stay only sitting in the barracks. We received half litre of coffee twice a day and seven decilitres of turnip-drink once. There were millions of lice. A friend of mine got spotted fever, I took care of him and also fell ill with typhus. After liberation I was put into a hospital. When I recovered I escaped and came back home individually, as otherwise the journey would have lasted a long time.
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