Protocol Nr. 1765

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Name: K. M.
Gender: male
Place of birth: Budapest
Date of birth: 1898
Place of residence: Budapest
Occupation: technician
Camps: Bruck, Mauthausen, Günskirchen

The person in question tells the following: I was drafted for labour service as a trench digging worker on 23rd October 1944. We went to Vecsés to work there for some days. During this period Arrow Cross men attacked us twice and robbed us of all our valuables. When the Russians were approaching we left for Albertfalva on foot. A large number of people were shot down on the way. I received a Swedish safe conduct, so I joined the Swedish company in Benczúr Street. One day I went home for clean underwear and I also slept at home. We were waken up at 4 o’clock in the morning for identity check.. People knew what these checks meant. Families were torn apart, half of the tenants were left in the house, the other half had to prepare in some minutes and they were taken in long marches to uncertainty, either to a ghetto, or a house of the Arrow Cross or else, to Germany. We were scared. I wanted to go back to my company but the Arrow Cross man in the door shouted at me not to move, he said I was a deserter and I had to pay for this with my life anyway. They took us to the brickyard in Óbuda, where I was beaten up very much and after a horrible night we were set off. We went along the main road leading to Vienna: men, women, old people and children in endless rows. We walked generally 25-30 kilometres a day, which would not have felt so much if they had given us food and if we had been in a different state of mind. They caught many people in the street; they could not even say farewell to their families and had nothing with them. From the third day on, most of them had to walk barefoot in the rain and mud, because their shoes had fallen apart. We spent the first night sleeping on the floor in a wooden barrack in Piliscsaba. If we wanted to go out we stepped on each other, there were so many of us. We spent the remaining nights in the open air. We put down blankets to lie on in vain, since they soaked through on the wet ground. It was raining incessantly and hopelessly. People were walking up and down in the night looking for their relatives whom they had lost in a minute and whom they could not find in the darkness. Many of them went mad and kept shouting throughout the nights, so we could not sleep at all. On the basis of the safe conduct of the Swedish Red Cross I was directed back to Budapest. Árpád Kalotay, captain of the gendarmerie gave me a helping hand in this. He also helped three women escape. I will always be grateful to this man. I joined my company in Jókai street but unfortunately I could not stay there either. We were entrained and arrived in Bruck on 3 December. The camp was a relatively good place considering the circumstances. As I was ill, I was on duty in the barrack. I stayed there till 31 March, then we were set off. First we marched, then they put us on barges. About 2,000 people were there on three barges. Our guards went alongside us in motor boats. We were travelling for 7 days, during this time nobody even looked at us, we did not get a bite to eat or a drop of water. People died of hunger one after the other. According to the order we had to drop these into the Danube. On our arrival in Mauthausen we had to leave the barges on a single plank that led to the river bank. When we got off our guards had already been there. Those weak people, who crawled on all fours on the plank in order not to tumble into the Danube, they kicked from behind, so that they lose their balance. However, our vital instinct were so strong that nobody fell into the water. After two weeks we went on foot to Günskirchen and we were suffering there until the liberation. I was in hospital in Wells, then I also got in hospital in Gallspach. Some 70 people were there. We were under the medical treatment of Viennese physicians. I cannot tell in what an excellent manner and with how much love they treated us. I was taken back to Wells and from there I came back home to my wife and my children through Czechoslovakia.
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