Protocol Nr. 922

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Name: P. R.
Gender: female
Place of birth: Csap
Date of birth: 192#
Place of residence: Ungvár
Occupation: housewife
Ghetto: Ungvár- téglagyár
Camps: Auschwitz, Freudenthal

The person in question has given us the following information: When the Germans came into the country I lived with my parents in Ungvár. Soon, we were herded into the ghetto, which was in the brick factory of Ungvár. On the 21st of May, they put us in freight cars and we left for Auschwitz. As soon as we got off the train at Auschwitz we were separated from our family members, but I managed to stay together with our mother and elder sister. Dr Mengele stayed there waiting for us and wanted to separate our mother from us with a club but she did not obey so she got a blow on her head but finally she managed to get into the baths together with us. Here, they cut our hair off and shaved us from head to toe, seized our clothes and in return they gave each of us a ragged garment without any underwear. We got into the Gipsy camp, where we stayed for a week. From there they moved us into Camp C, block 17. We had no work to do; there were only the continuous roll calls. Fourteen of us slept on a bunk. They gave us some green, infinitely disgusting liquid, in which there were pieces of wood and coal, and pebbles. The treatment was awful because they would beat us without any reason. In July, I fell sick, and they transferred me to Camp D, where there was the infirmary. I stayed there for 6 weeks. Dr Mengele appeared every day, partly to cure people, partly to select them. He had a double mind that was impossible to understand. He cured the sick with the greatest care, and later he sent people to the gas chamber, often exactly those people who he had carefully cured. At selections he did not really watch how sick you were but rather the way you looked. If you watched him with a confused look he would surely send you to the gas chamber. The doctor – who was a Dutch woman called Anna – told us to be in bed whenever Dr Mengele entered, and naturally we kept to this rule. However, once I did not notice when he unexpectedly entered and was laughing with another girl who was dictating me the text of a song. He came to me and checked what I was writing. When he saw I was writing in German, he asked me how came to know German so well. I told him I had studied it at school. Generally, I did not panic and responded to him bravely. The following day, he brought me a piece of chocolate and told me that I got it because I knew German so well. There was a baby who was born there. After the birth Dr Mengele gently asked the mother her name, and the mother told him “Erika.” Mengele said it was not ok, because it was not a German name and suggested to call her Ilonka, so she was called Ilonka. Two days later, he sent her and the mother into the gas chamber. He liked the babies who were born there. He played with them, took care of them, and then sent them to the gas chamber. There was a woman who had a rash, allegedly because of a lack of salt. He prescribed medicine for her but it was not given to her. When he examined her the next time, he saw that her condition had not improved, and the woman told him that she had not received the medicine. Dr Mengele slapped the woman doctor in the face because of her carelessness. When I recovered Dr Mengele asked whether I wanted to leave with a transport or go back to Camp C. I chose the latter because I wanted to stay together again with my mother and elder sister. By the time I returned I did not find there anyone, neither my mother nor my sister, but not even any acquaintance from Ungvár, because they all left with a transport. I did not want to stay there on my own so I applied for the next transport. We travelled in freight cars, 50 people in each. Everybody got half a kilo of bread, 2 pieces of salami and 2 pieces of sausage for the journey. The most embarrassing was the lack of a toilet. Although there was a bucket for this purpose we could use it only at night because of the guard. We started off at night and arrived in Freudenthal at next noon. In Freudenthal I worked for a weaving mill. The owner of the weaving factory was called Emerich Machold. They expected a certain amount of work to be done every day but it was not so much that one could not have done it quite easily. Machold was a very nice person who cared for us. He wanted to provide us food in the mess hall together with civilian labourers, which would of course have meant much better provisions for us, but the SS did not let him do so. Three times he even gave us a bonus: more lunch. We lived in proper stone buildings. We had a nice tiled bathroom, we also had hot water if we warmed the water up, which was allowed. Rations were sometimes better, sometimes worse. We got half kilo of bread and some Zulag for a day. At Christmas the factory owner brought us wine but he did not leave it with the SS but stayed there till we also got a part of it. Machold made every effort to make sure we were treated in a humane way, which was of course not easy with the SS, but still our lives were quite bearable. He set up a library, and there was also a radio to which we were allowed to listen. We weaved for ourselves pullovers, bodices, and other stuff from the wool we obtained in the factory. The Lagerführer Vess, who had been for 12 years the chef of the crematorium, told him to check out how elegantly we had dressed up using his wool. He said “If you do not give them clothes, they must obtain them from somewhere.” Once, during the night the SS wanted to take us away in secret. Machold brought other kinds of soldiers against the SS and did not let them carry us away. I did not really believe I could return home because I was afraid the Germans would put an end to us before they would have lost the war. Later, German civilian labourers informed us precisely about the situation on the front. Although they were prohibited under pain of death to have contact with us, they still brought us food, and helped us in all other ways they could. We started to trust in our future liberation but we were still worried they would find a half an hour to take us away and kill us. When the Russians got closer, or more precisely when they were pretty close to us, the SS wanted to take us away. However, when they saw that there were not really available places where they could have moved us, and that they did not really have the time for that, they stopped caring about us and left us there. During the following dawn we were in the bunker because there was intense shooting, but the Russians arrived already by 6 am and liberated us. Now, I will go home because I have heard that my mother and elder sister are already at home. Later, I want to go to Palestine.
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