Protocol Nr. 99

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Name: H. R.
Gender: female
Place of birth: Várpalánka
Date of birth: 1906
Occupation: seamstress
Ghetto: Munkács
Camps: Auschwitz, Geislingen, Münchenallsch

The person in question has given us the following information: During the rule of the Czechs we did very well in Várpalánka. They never abused Jews and we enjoyed equal rights with the others. When the Hungarians came in, they took away the trade licenses and abused the Jewish inhabitants of the village quite a lot. There was a garrison in the village and the soldiers marching there sang satirical songs, the target of which was Jews. Later, incited by young ethnic Germans they broke in some Jewish homes, led by officers called Kiss and István Boldog. They went to Munkács every evening and they broke in Jewish houses under the pretext that those were military exercises. They robbed the Jews of every possession and beat them to a pulp. They came back to Palánka at 12 o'clock at night and continued with us. Terrible noises, screams could be heard in the night. We lived through terrible times, trembling in horrible fear; that was the time when I got a heart ailment. The army terrorized the inhabitants all the time and beat Jewish men horribly without any reason. A lance corporal called Vörös also behaved in such a base way that we did not dare go out to the street in the evening at all. That was the beginning of the terror for us. Then we already had to be in hiding in Hungary; we did not dare sleep at home, we spent the nights at our relatives living in nearby towns, where we slept in barns and haylofts. The Hungarians had already treated us in an inhuman and cruel way before the German invasion. The Hungarians committed more horrible tortures than the Germans did in Germany. They completely ruined us psychically. 70 Jewish families lived in Várpalánka, most of them were tradesmen and craftsmen. Most of them lived in good financial conditions and were not short of anything. I was a dressmaker and I earned as much as I needed. It was the Hungarian police of Munkács who ordered the anti-Jewish decrees against us. The inhabitants of the village behaved in a relatively considerate way, except the ethnic German members of the organization Jugendheiz, who were the followers of Hitler and acted in a shameful manner towards us. We wanted to give 10,000 pengős to the notary's office in order to let us stay in the village but they could not do anything. After Passover they took us to the ghetto in the brickyard of Munkács. There the Hungarian policemen forced the men to crawl on their bellies in the mud and hit their heads with rifle butts. The Hungarian policemen and 3 Germans, one of them was called Sefcsenko, beat the young boys extremely hard, some of them they beat to death. We were already so desperate that we could hardly wait to be taken to work. That is, they lied that they would take us to work in the Hortobágy. They entrained us in Munkács but they did not give us water, nor did they give us a bucket for toilet purposes. In Sátoraljaújhely, Jewish labour servicemen saw us and they wanted to give us water, which the Hungarian policemen did not allow them to do so. 80 of us were in a cattle car: fainting old people, crying little children. They handed us over to the Germans in Kassa. The Gestapo told us that they would take us to work at a good place. On our arrival in Auschwitz they separated me from the rest of my family and I had no idea what was in store for me. We did not even want to believe it from a Slovakian woman there that they were burning our family members in the crematorium. They took all the expectant mothers away and still we managed to hide an expectant woman, who gave birth to her child in secret; of course we arranged it so that the child would not remain alive. When we arrived in Geislingen, we thought that it would be a very good place to stay, because we could sit at a table, where we had to work 12 hours a day. We did well in the beginning, but later German Capos came and stole our food. We slept in cold rooms in the winter and worked in a factory, which was not heated. Our hands got frostbitten and the flesh between our fingers cracked. After Passover, they took us to Münchenallsch where we stayed only for two weeks, then they entrained us. We did not receive anything else to eat than a little bread for a week. We starved very, very much, we lost weight, we were nothing but skin and bones and several men died. The American troops liberated us on 1st May. They supplied us with the best things imaginable, like first-class food, clothes and shoes. They took us to Iffldorf near Stahldoch, where we stayed for four weeks, then we were taken to a home for members of the Hitlerjugend in Feldafing. We received excellent medical treatment. A Czech soldier came for us and told us not to speak Hungarian anywhere; they put us in a car and after a nine-hour journey we arrived in Pilsen. In the Czech villages, children, old people and men ran to meet us and received us very happily. We were crying from emotion when we saw that welcome boards were put on view and mothers were holding their children up in the windows. Then they took us to Prague by bus and from there, we came to Pest through Pozsony. Now I am going home to see whether my little son is there and then we will go together to Palestine. I cannot imagine living among the evil people at home, so I would like to work on building of our new homeland in Palestine.
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