Protocol Nr. 2

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Name: S. N.
Gender: male
Place of birth: Munkács
Date of birth: 1927
Occupation: textile merchant
Ghetto: Munkács
Camps: Varsó, Landsberg, Kaufering

The person in question has given us the following information: There were about 12,000-13,000 Jews living in Munkács; tradesmen, physicians, lawyers, officials, craftsmen, etc. Most of them were wealthy people. I lived with my parents. I had a shop of my own. In the spring of 1944 I had a stock of textile fabrics worth about 30,000 pengős. In the beginning of May 1944, German soldiers and unknown policemen appeared in the city and they announced that all Jews had to leave their homes and move within 24 hours to the part of the city they had marked out. That place was too small to house about 10,000 Jews. Ten of us lived in one room. We were chased and hurried to move to the ghetto, although, we were allowed to take with us whatever we wanted. There was a soup kitchen in the ghetto. The men’s task was to pull down the fences separating the houses in the ghetto and take apart the gates, in order that they could freely walk among the Jewish houses and rob them. There were robberies in one house or another almost every night. They took away all the valuables they could find and they left one person with not more than 10 pengős. One day, under the pretext that the men had not gone to work, they collected almost every man, they took them into two synagogues and beat everybody terribly. The wealthier Jews were dragged into the Kohner castle and they were horribly beaten in order to disclose where or with whom they had hidden their money and jewellery. They also seriously beat up a shopkeeper called Honig, and then they shot him dead, probably because he would have not been able to go back to the ghetto by himself anyway. We spent three weeks in the ghetto. Later we ran out of our own food and began to starve; we suffered much during the water shortage. Approximately 10,000 Jews were crammed there in very little space and it was very hot there. A lot of people tried to escape from the ghetto and many of them managed. From the ghetto we were taken to a brickyard; what had remained of our possessions we were allowed to take with us. We stayed there only for some days. We were entrained at the brickyard. Here we were already in a horrible state of mind. The gendarmes were continuously beating us. They were pushing us, with: “Hurry up, move on you filthy Jews, you won’t come back here anyway”. There were 90 people in the cattle car in which I was travelling. They put a bucket of water and a bucket to serve as a toilet in the cattle car. The cattle car was not opened until we reached Kassa: there we got water, but we were not allowed to get off. After a three-day-long horrible journey we arrived at Auschwitz at dawn. The Kanadakommando received us. There was a Star of David tattooed on their foreheads. We had to get out of the cattle cars quickly and leave all our luggage there. I lived in Auschwitz in Camp C for 8 days. We were put up in barracks. Ten of us slept on one, 2.5-metre-long berth, squeezed together like sardines, and there were three such berths above each other. I spoke to people who worked in the crematorium. They told that those from our transport, who were placed on the left side were taken to the crematorium, they were given some towels and soap, saying they were going to have a bath. The gas chambers were equipped like bathrooms, only instead of water there was gas coming from the showers. Those unfortunate ones were finished off right away on the same day. I did not work at all in Auschwitz. The food was very little and we often had to line up for “Appell” at dawn in the dark, in cold, in rain. We were standing there for hours, sometimes we had to kneel down and some of us, for some undiscoverable reason, were beaten. 8 days later they put us in cattle cars again and transported us to Warsaw. The Warsaw ghetto had already been destroyed by bombs, and our task was to separate the scraps and to clear away all the ruins. We worked for the dismantling firm Merkle; we had to put together the bricks and select out things made of iron. In Warsaw we also lived in barracks. We got some soup-like liquid to eat twice a day and about 500 grams of bread. When the Russians were approaching, those deportees who were staying in hospital were shot dead. As we found out later, they had wanted to kill us too, but since they had no time to do that, they collected us, took us out of the camp and chased us before them. None of us had had hardly any belongings by that time, but we were forced to take with us blankets, quilts or some other sort of burden, so that the march would be as hard as possible for us. Those who fell behind a little were shot. We could not take water with us and suffered terribly from thirst. If somebody bent down to the ditch to drink from the filthy, muddy water, the Germans shot him too. A great number of people died of thirst on the way. For 5 days we did 30 kilometres a day on foot. One day it started pouring rain. Our thin, ragged prison clothes got completely soaked and our blankets were wet through too. We were sleeping like that one night on the wet ground, drenched to the skin, in the open air. Many of us died that night, and they were left there in the field. One day, as we were marching, when we were so horribly suffering from thirst, we began to dig and bore the ground with spoons where we were lying on the ground. One person started to copy the other and the good Lord gave a miracle to us: we found water within about 60 centimetres! If that had not happened, all of us would have died. At last, they put us on a train in Zigling, one hundred people in one cattle car. By the time we arrived in Landsberg, the number of dead people was 30-35 in each cattle car. In Landsberg, the work and the life was just like being sentenced to death. We worked for the firm Leonard Moll, which built cement bunkers and we had to load cement sacks. We were given to eat first one-fifth, then one-twelfth of a loaf of bread and one litre of soup a day. We were happy if we found raw potato peels and ate them. Generally 20 people became unable to work every day and they died within a short time. Many people got typhus fever, I got it myself, and pneumonia of both lungs too. The ill people were lying in one barrack, there was no medicine whatsoever, and I and the other seriously ill people received the same food as the healthy ones. Ninety percent of the people living in that camp had died by 26th April, when we were liberated.
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