Protocol Nr. 2067
The person in question has given us the following information: In 1941, Jews who did not possess a certificate of their citizenship were considered foreigners, regardless whether they lived here, whether their father and grandfather was born here. Naturally, other countries gave them no admittance either, hence these Jews became stateless. We also belonged to this group. One day the gendarmes came to fetch us and ordered us to follow them without further explanations. They took us into a Jewish temple, where already numerous people were waiting helplessly in terror for the unknown future. Around 200 trucks were needed for our transportation. We set off, crossed the border and travelled in the direction of Poland, crossing Koloma, to areas that lay at the other side of the river Dnester. We were escorted by Hungarian soldiers. I travelled with my husband and my five-years-old son. I also had a ten-months-old daughter but I left her with relatives since I knew she would not survive this journey. On the way we noticed that time and again a truck stopped. We thought they may have stopped to have a rest. We went until Chortkow, where suddenly also our car stopped. We had to get off. The sergeant escorting us told us there was a castle in the nearby. We should go there and we would be lodged there. Then he jumped back into the car and before we could have raised a question he was off. This was then what Hungary, our home country did to us: they left us in the woods of a completely unknown country and ran away. They did not even have the courage to tell us that we were kicked out and now we were to stay on our own. They told us there was a castle in the nearby where we would be taken care of. This was of course untrue. We were standing for hours on the road, later also in town. We noticed a temple and wanted to enter. A woman warned us not to go there as 400 Jews were killed only a day before. But as we had no place to go to, at the end we decided to go for it. Not much later young armed peasant boys came and took away the major part of men but also several women. We never saw them again. We hid the remaining men in the closet. This is how we spent weeks anxiously in indescribable terror. For anyone who wished could freely attack us. There were still Jews in Chortkow, who brought us sometimes a bit of pea soup or some dense soup. Later, when hunger became a real drive we also ventured out of doors to do some shopping. We got acquainted with a engineer of Hungarian origin who put the three of us up. However, a few days later placards informed everyone that all Jews had to leave the town. We were taken into some barracks. Also some women came here of the group that had been taken away from the temple three weeks before. They were ragged, had no shoes and were bags of bones. The men, who went with them, had been all beaten to death. We were in a horrible state of mind and had no idea what would happen to us. Our friend the engineer offered us accommodation again in his home. The day after the people who stayed in barracks (around 4,000 of them) had to start marching on foot. They were chased for 10 days in rain and mud when the Gestapo killed them. Eight of them survived. We were in hiding for 6 weeks when a military car came to Chortkow from Budapest with a mandate. Our friend talked to the driver who was ready to bring us back into Hungary. The travel was horrible. We were in the back of a one-man car for 26 hours. We were lying motionless in a curled up position. We had no food or drink and I was shrinking worried that my son would start crying and we were finished. The car stopped again and again. In Koloma it was even searched. It is a miracle that no one noticed us. When we arrived to Körösmező and I respired with relief, since having left behind the border I thought nothing may happen to us my husband got a nervous breakdown. It was horrible to watch how terror and hiding helplessly destroyed this sound man. He started uncontrollably shrinking and crying loudly that he was not going to remain in hiding as a murderer in his home country. He did not mind if he was beaten to death but he could not keep on hiding. My son started to beg him to keep quiet saying that not much was needed to see my daughter, little Éva. We held him firm and travelled on until we finally got to Beregszász. We did not dare to stay either here as we had to remain in hiding and were worried someone in town would notice us. We went into a forest to stay with a forester we knew. From here we came to Budapest where we used false documents but later we went to register at KEOKH (National Central Alien Control Office) as we could not endure the constant dread any longer. We said we were helped on our way back by German soldiers. Dr. Árpád Kiss, counsellor of KEOKH started to yell at us asking how we dared to re-enter Hungary when we had once been expelled. But where could we go? Our home was here, we were born here, we spoke this language. He claimed he was not interested in this. Then I asked him: “Tell me Sir Counsellor, do you have a family? Because I left my little daughter here and would have returned to see her again even if they shot me afterwards!” He did not respond but handed us over to a detective who wanted to take us to the telephone- room. This room was the place where Jews were collected before being deported to Poland. So they meant for us the same fate again. They had drown up minutes beforehand, where they noted down that Germans had been gentle to us and treated us very well and had provided us with food. As they were escorting us on the long corridors I collapsed and it was some hours before I recovered consciousness. We had connections to a high ranking officer in the Ministry of the Interior, hence they let us go after long negotiations on condition that we presented ourselves every second week. We went home and not much later we received Hungarian citizenship. We believed we could now stay here. But we were fatally wrong. In the spring of 1944, Jews were gathered and we got into the ghetto of Ilosva. A week later, my husband was called up to a labour camp but he declared he would stay where his family was. Only gendarmes could separate us. We were taken to Munkács where we stayed for four weeks in the brick factory. I worked in the office and had to witness how Jews were called in one after the other and were severely beaten up and tortured to make them confess where they hid their money and gold. I much reflected on the question why Jews were considered greedy since these people rendered Jews half dead exactly because they were greedy and money- hungry. They entrained us and we arrived to Auschwitz. When the car stopped a Polish Häftling ran in and asked me whether my children had no grandmother. I said my mother was there. The Polish suggested it was much wiser to leave the children with their grandmother. My son started crying begging me not to leave him, so we left the car together. On the whole way I was telling my daughter that she needed to claim she was only two years old. I thought not even Germans could separate a two-year-old child from his or her mother. My daughter was bitterly crying that she was already three, and I should not tell her such things as one should not lie. This went on like this till we arrived in front of Dr. Mengele. I felt a strong tug from behind. It was the Polish, who tore me away from my children pulling me to the right side among the healthy, the people selected for work. He wanted to help me. But can anything be worse for a mother than being separated from her children? I got into Camp C where I stayed for 6 months. During the whole time I was there, we were either lining up on roll call or were sitting in the barrack. It was terrible to remain idle and just wait. I lost 30 kilos of weight. They selected us into a transport to Brinbäumel. This was a women’s camp and we dug trenches. We got little food and were treated neither very badly nor well. The 20th of January, we had to set off on foot. We got a spoonful of sugar and a loaf of bread each. We walked for 11 days and received a plate of warm soup only once during this time. Those who could not resist were shot. 90 sick women were killed before we departed. We arrived to Grossrosen where they seized our blankets and clothes. For two days we stayed completely nude. We stayed here a week when we received a long nightdress and a thin coat and were put on open wagons. We travelled for 4 days and nights and I cannot describe the suffering we went through. Finally we arrived to Bergen-Belsen where an incredible squalor expected us. Bunches of lice were hanging on us. It was impossible to find water. I got typhus, a fever of 40 degrees and had to queue for roll calls and stand for hours. I collapsed again and again. The father of the Blockälteste had been employed in our house back home, so she put me in the toilet as a cleaner. She saved my life with this gesture as I did not need to stand for hours perfectly erect any longer. I also got a bit more of food. But I suffered so much of thirst that I preferred not eating bread for days so that in exchange I got a half cup of water. When the English liberated us and we started to eat fat food I got a diarrhoea that almost cost my life. The lower part of my body, my legs got so swollen that I could not move, I was full of water. I met a brother-in-law of mine, who was a doctor and who cared for me and gave me all the medicine I needed. Finally, after two months the water got absorbed and I more or less recovered. Now, as I came home I met friends and learnt that my husband had died of typhus. So I have no one. Only a brother of mine is alive. You know, if he was not alive, I would throw my life away, which is only suffering and pain for me.