Protocol Nr. 1532

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Name: J. M.
Gender: male
Place of birth: Laposna
Date of birth: 1908
Place of residence: Budapest
Occupation: merchant
Camps: Bjelopole, Kurszk

The person in question has given us the following information: I was called up for labour service in Nagykáta on April 22, 1942. Our company was under the leadership of the notorious Muray. We spent only a couple of days in Nagykáta. During that time he did not allow us to write home, receive parcels and did not allow our relatives to visit and bid farewell to us. Muray sent us to the Russian front immediately. At our departure he said good bye like this: “Go to Russia from where you will never return, because one must die for the homeland”. We were sent to Bjelopole in Ukraine. We were performing very heavy earthwork. In the very first week the military gendarmes searched us. Those labour servicemen who had got more than 10 pengős were bound hand and foot for six hours every day for two weeks as a punishment. It also happened that someone had been working hard all day and when he arrived at his place tired and frostbitten, he was trussed up. It happened to me as well and it was horrible. One friend of mine had got 50 pengős, and he was trussed up for two hours for 15 days. Shortly after he was trussed up, he fainted. Then they woke him by splashing water on his face. They did it strictly for two hours. Staff Lieutenant Colonel Kocsis ordered prisoners’ food rations to be given to us, therefore they reduced our portions that were small anyway. After that we got 1.8 kilograms of bread for six days and one meal every day that was dried thick soup without any fat. Gendarme Lieutenant Csaba was whipping and kicking us with his boots while we were trussed. My brother-in-arms who was trussed up for 15 days was hanging from a tree, when that lieutenant climbed up and jumped on him. Then he took an iron stick and he was beating the poor man so badly that his face and body had swollen. After the torture he was hardly recognisable. Thirty-five of us were taken to Kursk in October. There we were repairing roads, performing earthwork and carrying sacks. Our food was fairly good, but the military gendarmes were beating us there as well. We worked very much and suffered from the cold, because we did not have any winter clothes. After marching very much and working in several places for a couple of weeks, we arrived in Ostogoc. There we worked for the food store, but unfortunately we were not loading food, but hay, coal and other things we could not eat. Our sergeant, Domafalvi from Eger treated us very badly. He was beating and abusing us. The most horrible thing was when we had to stand at attention outdoors in summer clothes for one or two hours in minus 36-38 degrees Celsius. At such a time he organised a boxing match whenever he felt like that. It meant he hit all of us in the face and we were not allowed to move. When the great Russian offensive began in January 1943, we were thrown into total confusion. The soldiers were fleeing in terror and did not care about us too much. Eighty of us hid in the houses of Russian peasants, who were very kind and benevolent to us. We waited there until the Russian troops came. Then they took us to Russia. I have been released because I am sick.
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