Protocol Nr. 2476
The person in question has given us the following information: The 13th of April 1944, Germans kicked us out of our flat and moved in. The 7 of us were crammed into the attic. We stayed here squashed together till the 18th of April, when at 6 am they announced that all Jews of the village had to gather in the temple by 8 am. First, my mother left the flat accompanied by two of my younger brothers. After a painful farewell I remained with my father, and the two of us started immediately to dig our valuables. My father was a well-off tradesman. He thought to secure for the future the capital for which he worked and fought all his life in case we should once return there by chance. When we finished this work also my father said good-bye to me and left for the designated place. I was unable to make myself do this move. I stayed in the flat, started to cry and bent on bed. This is how the patrol found me half an hour later. The patrol was made up of gendarmes; three of them entered the door headed by Corporal Szabó. "My lady, you do not know maybe that you should be in the temple?” – Corporal Szabó said. “Do not make troubles to your father defying the order.” He leaned towards me and whispered in the ear: "Don’t be afraid! I will make you escape still tonight, take my word!" He continued aloud: "I swear nothing bad would happen to you, they’ll take you for agricultural work inside the country.” I could not do else but to go into the temple although I stayed home because I wanted to escape. We could bring money and documents in the temple but not clothes. There were 70 families crammed here for three days. Every day twice a member of each family could leave the temple with an escort to procure food. In one of the cases my father went to see his best friend, the notary, and the police captain to inquire about our future. They equivocally declared we were going to do agricultural work within the borders of the country. This was what also others - friends and soldiers - reaffirmed. Although we had serious doubts we tried to believe it, thinking that there must be some truth in it if so many people said the same. The 19th of April, in the afternoon, I was queuing up for bread when I noticed ###. I knew him well. He came to me and asked me to escape, and also to let my parents know about it. He was to be waiting for us on the hill of vineyards and we were supposed to appear slowly one by one. When everyone arrived he was going to hide us. I rushed home and explained the plot to my father. He agreed but my mother started hesitating because of my two younger brothers, who could make the escape more difficult, and she was also kept back by the luggage. “If they take us indeed for agricultural work in the country, we’ll work and stay together with the children. We’ll go where the others go!" So we stayed. The 19th of April, in the evening a committee of gendarmes came to the temple. Its members were: Corporal Szabó, non-commissioned officer Szász and a sergeant with a child’s face, with moustache and pitted skin. The slogan was the same: we would do agricultural work within the borders of the country, and now they needed to register us. In the evening of the following day, they gathered us in a room together with our luggage and we could leave the room only one by one. We had to undress entirely, and they grabbed our valuables and better clothes. In the afternoon of the day after, we had to go into the ghetto of Munkács on our own expense carrying maximum 30 kilos of luggage. In the gate of the ghetto there were two gendarmes who hit us with a belt. The ghetto was the Kálos brick factory. We arrived during the night at around 11-12 pm. It was pitch-dark, and we had to sleep in deep mud in the open. My mother put my younger brother down and we also tried to have a sleep. At dawn it started raining. The night appeared to us like three years, three years of suffering. We were thirsty and tired and the rain went on pouring on us mercilessly. At daybreak we heard voices and realised there were other people around, that Jews had been crammed here from neighbouring villages. When we arrived no one was in the open and because it was so dark we believed we were the first people there. The day after we started to build barracks. It was the religious community that provided us food since the population of Munkács was still free, only the Jewry of the neighbouring villages had to move in. We had a relatively peaceful life, I cannot remember atrocities. The first transport left the 16th of May and consisted of around 3000 people. We did not know its destination. We left in the second transport with around the same number. Around 500 people were left behind, who were later moved into the brick factory of Sajovics. There were 80, 90 and even 100 people crammed into a freight car. We could bring food, and we carried water to the train ourselves. We travelled for four days and nights. It happened that the train was still for a whole night. The worst thing was that we did not know where we were transported. The third day we arrived in Kassa where they opened the cars and we received some water and soup but already from the SS. Eight of us could share also a loaf of bread. Later, they targeted their weapons at us and forced us to produce the valuables and money that had not been seized yet. They even tugged a little girl and an old man off the train and targeted their pistols at them and threatened to shoot them unless they produced their alleged valuables. Someone threw a watch and a ring off the train and this saved their lives. Finally, we reached our destination, Auschwitz. We arrived at night. First, we did not know where we were and what we had to face but the idea that this tremendous journey, the state of being so crammed had now finished and we could finally get off was already a consoling one. But we could not be glad about it for long since our dear father managed to get to the window, looked out and saw prisoners in striped clothes, flames high in the sky, smoke, and the name of the station: “Auschwitz!” He only said: “We are lost!” Then he came to us and quietly told us to say farewell to each other. He tearfully hugged strongly my little brothers. My father had already heard about the horror of Auschwitz in the radio. Whatever quietly he spoke the others heard him and said: “Don’t say those things! Don’t be an alarmist! You will see that we’ll stay together, will work and survive the whole thing!" People were shouting around phrases like that. We stayed in for an hour, since they had to finish with another group first, then it was our turn. Men and women, children and elderly were separated. I remained on my own. I was taken into the baths, where they cut the hair off, took my dress, and left me only the shoes. I got grey clothes and was taken into barrack no. 26. There were 1500 of us here. For a week we stayed here completely ignorant about everything. We did not know what would come next and what had happened to those from whom we were separated. We got proper food: some bitter coffee or tea in the morning and the evening and some soup at noon. Daily bread was given to us also in the evening, around 330 grams, and we even got margarine. When we asked the Blockältester what all those fires and smoke meant she responded, perhaps to console us: "We are just burning rags." It was only later that we got to know from the Kanadakommando that the corpses of our brothers had fed these fires. I stayed here for 2 months. One day suddenly they took away 350 people from our barrack, then again 150 – these were all people from Kassa and the destination was supposedly Hamburg. They selected another 200 people, amongst them also me. We had to give blood – for soldiers, as they claimed – and were taken into the baths and put on freight cars. We went to Mühldorf, where there were only few men left. We were divided between two camps. There were 16 of us in a room, everyone had a bed. We got spoons, plates, and mugs. We cooked and cleaned for the Todt organization, consequently, our provisions were better. First, I was a courier, later I worked in a food store, and finally was transferred into the kitchen cooking for officers. Here we cooked together, 12 girls of Kassa for 12 soldiers and a woman soldier. Our provisions were excellent, we were also dressed well: we had coats, dresses, and shoes. When the frontline got closer discipline got gradually looser. Earlier, we could not have contact with men, now we were not hindered in visiting each other. We felt that the end was very close. One day I even agreed with a friend called Margit Weisz that we were going to escape the next time they took us for work, and would go to see the German woman soldier Erna Luchs, who had always been very nice to us. However, the day after we were not allowed to leave. They put together a transport of people and moved the whole camp into the Alps in Tirol. We girls, the 12 of us, and 100 men were left behind. This was arranged by the woman soldier and the SS Lagerführer. 8 days after the transport left, Americans arrived. We went to live in town and stayed for a month. When we learnt where the transport was taken we followed it to Feldafing, close to Munich. Here I met a cousin of mine. As we learnt that all members of the family died we decided to settle down there and open a pastry shop. A week later, we met a relative who told us that my oldest brother, who went through these hard times in Pest, was still alive and also was the husband of my cousin. We got on a train and travelled home. In the meantime, I learnt that my father and the other older brother died after the liberation. I cannot count on my mother and younger brothers. At the moment, I want to go to Prague to carry on studying. Later, I will grab the first opportunity to travel to our uncle’s place in America together with my brother.