Protocol Nr. 1781

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Name: R. N.
Gender: female
Place of birth: Kisapsa
Date of birth: 1918
Place of residence: Kisapasa
Occupation: seamstress
Ghetto: Mátészalka
Camps: Auschwitz, Hochweile, Grossrosen, Mauthausen, Bergen - Belsen

The person in question has given us the following information: We lived in Kisapsa; my parents were farmers. After March 1944, when the Germans invaded the country, Jews had to face misery. First, they ordered Jews to wear yellow stars as signs of differentiation. There were only 20-25 Jewish families in the village and there were some people who learnt about this decree only later, and went into the street without a star and returned home badly beaten. They seized anything that was related to farming. At Easter they even took our cow. The local notary was very wicked, he did not like Jews, and staff sergeant Szigeti and gendarme Szilágyi harassed Jews a lot and assaulted them. Around the 10th of April, on the first day after Easter they collected us, led us into the school, where they kept us for two days, and then they took us into the ghetto of Mátészalka. The ghetto was at the cemetery and thousands of Jews of the area were crammed into it. During the night, gendarmes entered the place and beat us up. During the day, ethnic German SS men came in with thick clubs and would not leave until they broke their clubs on our backs. People ran to all parts of the ghetto but if you could not run away in time, they would beat you half dead. Some were beaten because the yellow star was not sewed on properly, others because they kept their hands in their pockets, that is, they found fault with everyone. Men were taken away to work. In one place they had to dig pits; in another place they had to re-cover them. Their only objective was to keep them busy and torture them. Later, also women were taken to dig pits, and if they did not like something about someone, it did not matter whether the person was a woman, a man or a child, they would invariably beat them till the blood flowed. I was convinced that the ghetto of Mátészalka was the worst of all. If a woman wrote a letter from the ghetto to her husband who was in labour service far away, she was trussed up for two hours and they chased us with clubs to watch it. Gendarmes guarded the ghetto both outside and inside, and we could not go into the street. We stayed there for three weeks. At the beginning of May, they deported us to Auschwitz. They entrained us Sunday afternoon, putting 80 people in each freight car. We had little water and were very thirsty on the way. Hungarian gendarmes escorted us till Kassa, where they handed us over to the Germans. Three days later, Wednesday evening we arrived at Auschwitz. I was sent into the group of young women to the right side. They took us into the baths, and from there, into Camp C. I was in charge of the toilet and for this reason I got extra Zulag. I did this work for 5 months. One day, I fell sick with typhus, and lay sick for 7 weeks. At selections, a doctor from Ungvár helped me. He always hid me. During one of the selections, when I had already felt a bit better, out of 450 people only 37 were left. Dr Mengele wanted to put me also among the sick, but the doctor from Ungvár said to him: “Das ist doch eine gesunde Frau,” so he put me among the healthy. We saw how they took the underwear off the others, put them up on a truck and carried them in the pouring rain towards the crematorium. On another occasion, the selected people were led into the block of the bathroom, where they were left naked till next morning. They were not given dinner, and in the morning they were carried to the crematorium. A girl from Beregszász lay next to me. She felt already quite all right, nevertheless, she was taken away. I was very sorry for that poor girl. In November, I left Auschwitz for Hochweile with a transport of labourers. Our job was to carry wood from the forest. We walked 9 kilometres to the place where we worked, and had to carry very heavy logs. If we put two pieces on our shoulders the SS grumbled and put another one next to them, so we often thought we would collapse. Supplies were poor. Four of us shared a loaf of bread; and each of us got 20 grams of margarine every second day and three quarters of a litre of soup at noon. The SS Lagerführerin was good to us; she hurried us at work but did not touch us. She said if we wanted to go home we had to work. The Lagerälteste was nastier; she often made things difficult for us. We stayed there for 3 months. They took us from Hochweile to Gross Rosen. We had to walk there. The trip lasted 12 days. We received two pieces of turnips for the trip and a plate of warm soup only once. We remained in Gross Rosen only for 10 days, but we suffered a lot during this time. Reveille was at dawn. The SS came in and opened the door and the windows and beat everyone with a belt. They did not even wait till you got up. They came to the beds and beat us in the bed. It was worst than in Auschwitz. When we set off, there were 1,000 of us. Ten days later, there were only 570 of us because many people died already on the way. Ten days later, they took me from Gross Rosen to Mauthausen. We went by train, and the journey lasted five days. For 2 days we did not eat anything, and got some bread and margarine only the third day. We spent three days in Mauthausen before they took us to Bergen-Belsen. We arrived in Bergen-Belsen in February. They lodged us in a block where there were 1,300 of us, out of whom maybe only 200 women survived. For two days we did not get food at all, we were dizzy from hunger, and people kept fainting. There was a great typhus infection that caused the death of 40-50 people every day. I got typhus. The English liberated us the 15th of April 1945. I was not conscious at the time; I regained consciousness only a few days later in the hospital of Bergen. Some girls told us that after the liberation the English had poured some powder on us that killed the lice in half an hour. I spent six weeks in the hospital of Bergen, from where they took me into Cell, where I spent another three weeks. When the Czech-Slovakian transport set off, they took us to Pilsen by trucks, from where we came home by train. For the moment I will go home to Kisapsa and wait. Some of my relatives may turn up.
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