Memoirs Of A Survivor of Auschwitz

Since I returned from Auschwitz in May 1945, I felt I had to write what happened to my family and me - all my experiences. Just a reminder of what brings me pain and tears. Trying to stay sane, I was delaying it. Today, it is more than 50 years since the genocide planned by Hitler against our people. I am forced to record the way you remember. Time is running out. I have 67 years. My children, who tried to educate as normally as possible, and with whom I tried not to talk about the past, are now grown men. And they have a right to know the story of his family. So, I dedicate my memories to my wonderful children and grandchildren.

Veronika Schwartz, Montreal, 1994.

I was born on June 6, 1927, in Hungary, in a small town called Kisvarda in the county of Szabolcs. The total population in 1941 was around 15,000. The Jewish population was about 4000. In those days, babies were born at home with the help of a midwife, and probably some members of the family. My uncle Ösztreicher Mikos told me that my mother had been pregnant seven times, four were still alive.

My father's name was Schwartz Mór. The name of my mother was Ösztreicher Iren. My brother, Zoltan, was the eldest, born November 19, 1923. My sister, Klára was two years older than me. My sister, Eva, was two years younger than me.

My parents had a store in Fö utza, which means the main street. They sold furniture, gardening equipment, shoes and clothes ready. They worked very hard. Life was not easy. As far as I can remember, I felt sorry for my mother. Both his knees were bruised, but never wanted to talk about an operation, fearing that it was not successful and he could finish worse than before. Just kept putting bandages on his feet all day, trying their best to meet the customers and of course his family. She cooked before going to the store. (...)

I do not remember having toys or dolls as a bicycle, but I do not remember having missed them too. We were a family. The joy was to see my mother holding hands with my father, smiling. We were never bored. There were always things to do: watering flowers, cleaning the garden, playing ball or school (I was the "teacher" and met the younger children to school and played with them), bring firewood to the house, feed the dog, talk with my friends on the street or with our tenants or neighbors. They liked us very much. We were at home. Although modest, was our castle. As young children, all we needed was a pile of sand to stay busy and happy. We loved our country also. I remember that when Hungarian soldiers on horseback through the street nearby, ran to gather a bouquet of flowers from our yard and ran the entire distance to give them flowers. (...)

Everything changed in the gym. I felt anti-Semitism. I do not remember the name of my teacher, but the girls called their names Gentile and Jewish girls by the name of their families. I could not concentrate, it worried me a lot. I began to feel hatred. This was in 1939 and was only twelve years. My grandmother used to say how horrible it was for the Jewish people. How, during a rebellion or revolution, always put the blame on the Jews. I just felt sorry for having suffered so much.

The hatred only grew, things did not improve. One day, my grandmother came to our house screaming that one of his neighbors had threatened to kill my uncle Miklós. I knew where my uncle was, I ran all the way, five or six miles, to find him in a nearby village called Ajak. He hid himself, but for the High Holiday went to the synagogue. The gendarmes (police elite) were looking for him and entered the synagogue. My uncle escaped through a window, and Mrs. Rooz, who was a distant relative, hid it in his house. When things calmed down, managed to board a ship and hid in the coal. He arrived in Canada in 1939 as a stowaway, almost dead. I never knew why the gendarmes wanted to arrest him or because the man (his name was Orgován), who supposedly was his friend wanted to kill him. All I knew was that my uncle was selling land at that time. Maybe some business land has not pleased. Our whole family was happy when we received a letter from Canada to our uncle.

It seemed that for the Jewish population, life was getting pretty scary. My father had to do forced labor. Luckily, was disqualified due to a hernia. My parents decided that we should learn a trade instead of continuing our education. They paid a well known clockmaker to teach my brother how to repair watches. My older sister studied to be a hairdresser, also privately, which was very expensive. My brother and sister finished their studies. My parents bought a bike for my sister. Customers had private and rode to their homes. It was very popular, some people really liked it. They found a seamstress to teach me to sew. I tried, but also to learn a few different places, never managed to finish a dress.

Meanwhile, my parents knew that life was getting worse for us. The anti-Semitism was very frightening. Knowing that, whatever happened, we need food, bought several cows, a horse, goats, geese, ducks and chickens. At this point there was a lot of seams, very helpful with animals. He loved horseback riding. Milked cows and fed the rest of the animals. My grandfather, Lajos, came every day to help and we had some employees.

The political situation was getting worse, especially for us, the Jewish people. My mother made more frequent visits to the Rabbi, to pray for our safety and well-being and peace terms. Rabbi blessing us, told us to pray and have faith in Gd [note: Orthodox Jews do not write the name of the Lord in any way, using this type of resource]. Always accompanied on these visits.

Keep the business open was not an easy task. But it was difficult to textile goods such as silk, linen, cotton and flannel. My mother never gave up. He traveled to Budapest to find his suppliers and was confident he would not return empty-handed. The firm's name to the wholesale business was Mandel Gustav and Sandor. She could not stop talking about these people, as they had been good to her. By having the patient knees, wish to help her so special. They sold her textile goods. She was invited to their house. One day we said, "I saw a beautiful bathroom tile, this is what we will one day. Let's install plumbing in our house ". Never abandon hope. In fact, we had electricity installed and a new tile floor in the kitchen.

Despite our hopes and prayers, hatred seemed to get worse. Lighting candles on Friday nights was risky. Our windows were shattered. Stones were thrown at the home of our grandfathers. My father entaipou some of its windows. The bandits were in the crosses arrows insulting. A young man came to our store like a wild animal, cursing, grabbing boxes of shoes and throwing them on the street. My mother begged him to take what he wanted, but the hatred was too deep. Shivered with fear.

My brother was drafted into the Army. My parents could not see it go. My mother made a very strong pot of coffee and he drank it all, then the doctor called the family and said he was not well. The doctor listened to his heart and wrote a letter saying it was unable to go to the service due to heart disease. (...)

Electric Fence at Auschwitz

Cruel laws and rules were imposed on us day after day. It was very painful to realize that we were overly optimistic for a long time. It was shocking when visiting one of our tenants, the Posner family of Russian origin. They had a maid, a young gypsy. He liked to talk to her, was always cheerful and happy. I asked, "Where is she?". They told me they had been taken away the strength and drowned with many others. "How can you kill innocent people. They should have been sent to work elsewhere, "said Ms. Posner. She said softly, "wish you were right."

There was no reason to be optimistic. We were forbidden to listen to the radio. When walking down the street and tried to hear the news, I was stoned. My mother loved to go to the ritual bath (mikvah). It was one of the pleasures of her life, but was forbidden.

I heard a lot of whispers. I heard that spoke of an escape route, but we will not be able to use it. It was too late. The Jews could not travel. My mother would never agree to an escape route, unless the whole family could escape together. This was impossible. We took home a lot of goods (furniture, fabrics) from our store. We dug holes in sheds and bury textiles and clothing in wooden boxes.

Whenever my father went to the synagogue, came home with bad news. Heard that an eminent doctor and his entire family had committed suicide. On March 19, 1944, it became compulsory to use a yellow Star of David. On the same day the German army invaded Hungary. Beyond the expectations of Germans, Hungarians and cooperated fully received with open arms. We felt trapped.

I remember Mr. Fekete, who came to our house to read the electricity meter. When he entered, looked at us all. He started walking towards my parents. He would like to speak to them but was overcome by emotions and started crying. She just crying and left. I knew that something terrible would happen. One as a clock, a few days later, a young man came to our house and my grandparents' house. This young man lived in our street. My grandmother and his grandmother were friends of one another. His name was Bajor and had been authorized to take stock of our belongings. It did not take long to discover that we had to leave our homes and to live together in a ghetto in Kisvarda. Everyone tried to console ourselves as best as possible. My parents thought my brother would enlist in a labor camp. Maybe he had a better chance of staying alive. Accepted the suggestion and went to enlist. It was heartbreaking to see him leave.

My parents gave our cattle in trust for the people who used our property as a way to reach the city. Even though they had promised to take care of all animals, it was hard to leave them behind - the young kid who loved, the beautiful horse that loved to ride, cows, geese, ducks and chickens. My mother frantically worked away preparing a soup base, one flour mixture and oil or chicken fat. He said that while we could get some water, at least we could make a soup. I watched as she broke down and started crying. I begged them not to cry. She said: "not choro by me, choro by all of you. I love them very much. " I tried to say that our departure was only temporary. It was naive. They knew how irrational people were with hatred, jealousy, revenge and power, and were terrified.

My parents worked very hard. Never smoked or drank and saved every penny. The custom was to give a daughter a dowry when they married. They bought precious stones, diamonds and another for the three of us, so that when we had cassássemos able to start a new life alone. My father called us and all went down to the basement. Ali removed some bricks from the wall, hid the jewels in a bottle and repaired the wall. So we all knew where they were. He hid some gems in the attic. Even our neighbors, the Fishers, across the street, hid some jewels in our attic.

In mid-April 1944, were taken and imprisoned in the ghetto in Kisvarda. We were taken under the most cruel by the Hungarian gendarmerie. All we were tight on one one quarter - my grandmother, my parents, my aunt Margit, uncle Ernö and my two sisters, Klára and Éva. Below our room was a basement. Led people there to be interrogated to find out where they had hidden their money and possessions. It was always the head of the family. Initially tortured the very rich and, later, the middle class. It was horrible hear the screams.

We are also worried about our father. The food was very poor and my father used to hiding out at 5 am, before sunrise. I did not know, but a Gentile family gave him eggs, milk and bread. He ran a huge risk to improve the quality of life for his family. People gave him food were also very special, selfless, kind and willing to help the needy. It was a courageous act, they could get in big trouble helping Jews. Good people as they gave us incentive to keep trying our best and continue with our lives. It was a joint effort to do the best we could. Helped one another, sharing household chores. We were free to go anywhere in the ghetto. He walked a lot with my sisters and everyone in the family, talking with our friends and neighbors, trying to figure out new policies. (...)

Again, the new were dreadful. Once again shattered our hopes that the war would end soon and come back to our homes and businesses, resuming our lives. People were saying that the Germans would all to labor camps. The ghetto stayed as one funerary chapel. People wept openly. Everyone was terrified. It made no sense that Germany wanted grandmothers, pregnant women, babies, sick people and children to work for them. In everyone's mind was the question: "what will happen to us?" For my part, I was educated in respect to all, whatever their religion. So it was difficult to understand the complexity of human hatred. Not believe that would lead us to work. My grandmother, worried, asked me: "what kind of work I do for them? Am I too old to work ". "Well," I said, "you can help in the kitchen, peeling potatoes, for example, or in the hospital, preparing bandages. All we can work ". (...)

My family and I were taken on May 31, 1944. Eighty people were rounded up in each car. We were not allowed to take anything, only the clothes we wore. There was a bucket of water, the doors closed and the journey toward an unknown destination began. My father, my mother, my grandmother, my sisters, Eva and Klára, Margit aunt, uncle Ernö - ​​everyone was very quiet, sad and speechless. I tried to cheer them too. I found a small location from where was possible look outwards and see the landscape. Pedi everyone to come and see. No matter how hard he tried, no one was interested. My grandmother kept saying, "I'm too old to work." If I knew what would happen to them, I have spent every minute kissing and hugging them and doing our best to not separate them.

Finally, the train arrived at Birkenau, Poland. The doors opened. Somehow, I was pushed out, so I found myself standing alone and a long line was forming behind me. I looked everything around and could see that there was nobody of my beloved family. Fear and panic hit me. I cried and threw myself to the ground, thinking that not raise, unless it was placed along with my family. I did not care if I shoot them. Behind me were the two girls Freed, of our street, Var utza. They were crying, but I almost got up and begged to stand up or be shot. Said his mother was pregnant and could not see anywhere.

The long queue was formed and had to start marching. Era about three kilometers until Auschwitz. On the way, we saw the barbed wire security fence with high voltage. We saw a lot of people inside. It was a ghastly place. Some people walked with long sticks and were hitting others. The clothes were rags of these people. We could not imagine what this place could be. Some people said it should be one mental asylum. But how could treat the mentally ill so bad?

Soon our march ended and we find ourselves in the same place - the concentration camp of Auschwitz. This was the worst day of my life. The heartache of not knowing what would happen to my family. Where were you? Always looking to my eyes as far as I could see in all directions, even to imagine that I could see my father.

People were exhausted mentally and physically. It started to rain and was cold. Throughout the day we did not receive food, but we had to stand in line and wait. Finally, an SS officer came and told us he would try to get some tea. This was not a comfort to me. I was a lost soul.

Later we had to be disinfected. In this place, aparavam our heads. We had to undress. They made us go through humiliating tortures. Our clothes were taken away and we had to dress in a pile of rags. As I walked through that area of ​​disinfection, as a miracle, I watched my first cousin on the paternal side, Magda Klein. She noticed me at the same time. He told me there was nobody in your family and that we should try to stay together. I hoped we could do that.

More afternoon we went taken to the C Lager (field C). Remain off. A kapo (ie, a prisoner feitora designated to oversee a specific working group of prisoners) came to us. He told us his name, Toska. I believe it was a Polish girl. It seemed to be very honest. He asked if we had any questions. Many people asked the same question, "when we will meet with members of our families?" With tears in his eyes, pointed to the crematorium. He spent a hard time talking. After regaining his composure, he continued: "As you, I was brought here with my family, but now I'm alone." Warned us to stay alert, stay alive would not be easy. After that, we were herded into the shed. Here was another Kapo, his name was Eva. It was wicked. A Jewish girl and personable, behaved shamelessly, using a stick to control people.

We were squeezed into a sitting position too tight for the night. In my misery, I decided follow the advice of Rabbi: have hope and pray. Each night, reciting prayers in Hebrew. I knew them well and included every member of my family and, of course, Aisnley [Vera's boyfriend]. Somehow, my religious background has given me strength. But he also had a sense of guilt, "why me? Why am I alive and my family does not? ". Tormented me.

Before dawn we were awakened by a loud whistle. We had to run and align ourselves for inspection. Twice a week, we had to march naked into a shed in front of doctors, Mengele and some others, for selection. If one were removed from the queue, it meant death. So, we tried to look your best.

We got a slice of bread and about a teaspoon of jam in the morning. In the afternoon we made a turn to pick up a pot of food, which had no flavor, very little. There were no plates or cutlery. Thus, we made a row one after another and drank the same cup. Many people, myself included, were getting gum disease [scurvy]. In the afternoon, again, we had to stand in line for two hours to be counted. Sometimes I saw burned bodies, such as coal, against the fence. Era one horrible sight.

One morning, after the count, lay on the floor. An SS soldier stepped on my stomach. The surviving another day was an achievement.

About three or four weeks later, one morning, we entered into a queue to have our ID numbers tattooed on their forearms, when my cousin Magda was removed from the queue. Again I felt lost. I really wanted to stay with her, was very good to me. I knelt down and went to a window, and I passed her Magda. I got in line behind her. We had no idea what would happen to us, but we were together again and that meant a lot to both. There were sixteen people. We engage in small wagons pulled by a tractor. After traveling for about three and a half hours, we arrived at a farm.

We were given shelter in a shed. We slept on straw on the floor. Later, put some cots for us. When it was getting dark, the door was closed and we were locked. 6:00 am The doors opened again. We got some food and were taken by truck to the fields to work. We had to harvest wheat and oats, tidy bundles, tie them and place them upright, as if forming pyramids. We had two supervisors: a man who was gentle. If anyone had trouble getting work, trying to help and was never angry. The woman did not like any of us. I heard her tell the supervisor that we were Jewish and did not deserve any help. We all try to give as much of us, this place was definitely better than Auschwitz. On Sundays, for dinner, gave us mashed potatoes with a slice of ham on a plate normal. This meant a lot to everyone.

One day the owner rode to the place where we worked. Called me and another girl to talk to him. Told us that instead of work in the fields, we would work in the kitchen. The other girl was only thirteen. Normally I saw shining shoes. I ended up helping the two maids, peeling vegetables, fruits and so on. It was better than working in the fields. It filled my clothes with the skins of apples peeled. Some times could hide some carrots or small apples; were shared with everyone.

Via the family going to church on Sunday mornings. I remembered how it used to go to synagogue with my parents, brother, sisters and other members of my family. There was envious of them, but hurt me a lot. The injustice was so horrible. Here I was, working as one slave. Why? I had not done anything wrong. Were born in the Christian faith. Incidentally, I was born in the Jewish faith. They had everything they owned. All of us had been confiscated. Had his family alive. I do not know what happened to mine. How could enable all those crimes happened in the twentieth century, which neither one nation trying to save us? Where was God? He would have slept? I was losing my faith in humanity. Questioned the existence of God. After all, had seen the crematoria belching smoke all day at Auschwitz. The sadistic cruelty he had witnessed gave me reason to believe that there was very little chance that everyone would see my family again.

After working in the kitchen for about three months, I heard two maids showing concern about how close the Russians were and what would happen to them. For us, this meant a hope, that our freedom was coming. (...)

The Russians were approaching. We had seen artillery explosions nearby. Our lives were at high risk. Everyone was afraid. We continue to work another two weeks but one morning, instead of being driven to work, we were transported back to Auschwitz. It was very difficult to still have hope. People in Auschwitz seemed skeletons and were jealous because we spent time working on a farm. We were told that had erupted one typhus epidemic. Some of the huts had been burned to the foundations. People died like flies. I could not find words to explain the intensity of crime. By that time, it seemed that we were the remnants of a race. Kept telling myself not to give up - if someone in my family had survived, might need me. This feeling of responsibility to my family and our race kept me fighting to stay alive.

The hunger, filth and torture continued. One morning, to my astonishment, I received a small package. The Kapo gave me, said he had to bring back a reply. I opened it, there was a bit of bread, a pencil and a note. The content of the ticket was the following: "was born in Poland. I'm not Jewish. Publicly expressed opposition to the government, so I was sent to Auschwitz. I am a doctor. I wonder if you marry outside your faith. " Do not take me long to respond. In my heart, I knew I would not marry outside of my faith, out of respect for my parents. Also, had not yet abandoned hope with respect to Ainsley. So, I expressed my thanks to him and said my reasons. Never again heard from him again, but was one tremendous support moral believe that there was some people decent out there and that I should do the utmost to survive.

A few weeks later, Magda and I, along with many others, were taken to another concentration camp. When we arrived, two Kapos were in charge of bringing us into the field. To our misfortune, took liberties with a position of superiority, hugging and grabbing. It was embarrassing and I was terrified. They said they remembered them her sisters. Logo one queue was tidy and walked for the field.

When we enter the field, was a terrifying experience. In the middle of the field was a huge ditch. We had align on one side. In our front, on the other side, the soldiers SS were standing, with their rifles pointing for us. People were in panic, fearing that we were facing a firing squad. Tried calm people in my front with the explanation that, if they wanted kill us, this would have been done in Auschwitz. In the end, it was just a military training.

We were taken to a building where we had to take a shower and have been given other clothes, uniforms and blue with gray stripes. We did a line for food, which was given on a plate. It was more in military style, and seemed much better than Auschwitz.

Early evening I felt tired and lay down in one of the cots under a bunk. While resting, my cousin went and she was excited. He told me that two of the Kapos had brought bread for us. Not intended to go and begged not to go, but she just ran out, saying they needed the bread. Despite of not wanting go, ran behind her, so they do not be alone. The two young boys were happy to see us. One of them was holding my hand when suddenly the lights went out. Several people came. We were escorted back to our barracks, but Magda took with them. He had to undress completely and waited. Shortly after an SS officer came and my cousin was beaten with a rubber baton. I heard her scream and felt their pain. In my heart I knew that she wanted only good for us. Just wanted some bread. When they finished with her, hoped that they should come catch me, but that does not happened. Magda told them that I had only gone there to call her back. We could see the two Kapos out, there were two poles with a thick rope in the middle. Each man was tied by the feet and arms and was left there, hanging on the pole for hours.

The next morning we were packed like sardines in a wagon and were sent to a labor camp. It took many hours to get there. I remember telling Magda that people were very good, because I had fallen asleep on them. What I did not realize was that I was sleeping on top of dead bodies. My cousin suffered from terrible pain of the beating. When the train stopped, finally, the designated destination and the door opened, we were forced to carry the corpses.

We slept on the floor in a shed, with only a little straw scattered around. The food was horrible and very little. To describe the extent of hunger once pulled a scrap of bread from the wall of the toilet and ate it. Men and women wore the same latrine. There was nothing like human dignity.

The work was hard. We got a pick and had to dig a mountainous area to build a trench. We have not received warm clothes. Embrulhávamos feet in pieces of rag, we were afraid of freezing. Sometimes we wish we could talk to someone, but an SS soldier appeared immediately, shouting to stop talking and keep working.

One day, Magda became ill. I could not go to work. I worried all day, what would happen to her? The same thing happened to me too. There was a doctor. Luckily, the next day we can go to work. People who stayed out of work more than twice, never saw again.

Eventually, as the Russian were moving, this field has to be eliminated. The march began. It was still winter and it was very cold. We marched all day. When some people were near collapse and the guards themselves were too tired, usually found a place for us where we could spend the night, usually in bays, like animals. We were hungry. I remember once, when we marched, I noticed some frozen potato peels in the snow. Caught certain quickly and ate them.

One night, after terms been locked in one baia, a few of us decided we should try escape. We climbed to the attic. It was full of forage. We buried her in the pasture. In the morning, when the SS guards came to take us, we are in the attic. In first night, someone shot some carrots and was this we eat. But the next morning, a group of boys, adolescents bucks, came up to the attic. One by one we threw out the window, shouting, "Juden, Juden!" [Jew, Jew!]. Falling two meters and a half, I focused on fall on my feet. All we stayed sore and bruises. Soon, an SS guard came and took us back to the group, and once again continued the march.

One night, it was very late. We were extremely tired and my cousin felt sick. I begged him to continue walking. She turned and said: "Vera, you keep. I can not walk anymore "and fell. At that moment, I lay down beside her, telling her to pretend that we were dead. The first guard shouted to get up, we continued to walk. When a second guard came and wanted to shoot at us, said, "are dead, do not waste your bullets."

Homes, we stayed there until there was no more sounds. At that time, Magda told we had to keep walking, or would freeze to death. Slowly crawling out of the gutter. With Magda leaning on me, slowly walked. Suddenly we saw a light. We soon realized that it was a house. At this point, we had no choice. Nobody said a word to us. We huddled under a bed and fall asleep there. On the morning, a man on nudged with a broom, screaming, "Juden heraus" (Jews, piss off). Crawl out. After leaving the house, threw some crumbs of bread for us. I stopped to pick them up and eat everything. I remember thinking that there was still some humanity left in him.

We walked. We walk by an area most populated and suddenly we saw a policeman directing traffic. Quickly made a turn and entered a house. A woman came to us and asked if we wanted some food. Naturally we wanted, we were hungry. She returned with two portions of ham and mashed potatoes on porcelain plates with cutlery. We did not know exactly why they were being so good, but then another woman came and told us that the Russians had arrived in the area and that if the Russians came to the house, they wanted us to say they were good people, we were protected and given food . Now we understood the situation where we were. We were happy, because finally we would be free.

A few minutes later, Russian troops entered the house. The father or grandfather was sitting with all their military decorations on his uniform. A Russian soldier glared at him immediately. We were afraid. We did not know what would happen to us. One woman came to me, begging to save his daughter, saying that a Russian soldier had led to a room and kill her. Thinking about how we were treated well, ran into the room. It was still very naive, did not realize he was raping her. I started to explain that these people had given us food. I was going for his gun. My cousin went to the room, grabbed me, slapped my face, and pulled me out. She was shaking. He asked me: "you do not know why he took the girl into that room?" At that moment I did not know. I was trying to save a life, but I was in shock. If not for Magda, had been killed.

We also realized we were in danger. The freedom which we expected did not come. There was no law and order. We were alone. When night came, we sleep with our heads covered by a shawl, for opinion less attractive. Even so, one night while we slept both a soldier woke me up. With his flashlight shining in my eyes, ordered to stand and follow him. I was terrified. I cried and cried. My cousin tried to explain that we had been in a concentration camp, we were Jewish. He said it was a good Jew. Then Magda told him that I was an only child. At this time he was angry and said Magda, "you're not a child," and forced her to go with it. I was hoping tormented, without knowing what would happen to her. He returned shortly and said he had failed to rape her, cried and screamed as much. Became angry and hit her with his rifle and let it go. Fear continued everyday.

We kept looking for food. We found a young girl and his mother of Polish origin. Found some potatoes, cooked and insisted on sharing them with us. They were also survivors. I could never forget them. Once we hid in a pile of fodder to prevent some soldiers. They must have noticed us and set fire to grass, to force us to leave. A Russian officer Oldest noticed the people. He said he looked like his daughter. He maintained a friendship with a woman in the same house where we were. We were lucky him notice the situation we were in.

One afternoon we find one young girl, also one survivor. He came from a very religious family. He told me how he was grateful to have survived and when he went home, hoping to find his family. Well, that not happened. A drunk Russian soldier raped her during the night. The next morning the girl was dead, had bled to death. The soldier was still beside her, drunk.

The oldest Russian officer became a good friend to us. Sometimes brought some food. I remember distinctly beige winter coat and white gave me, also shoes, but, above all, remember that probably saved our lives. Early one morning, young people were gathered. Magda and I were chosen. They said to go into an army truck. Both tried to explain that we were not the enemy, who were not German, we were Jewish survivors, but made no difference. We were forced into the truck. As we waited in the truck, we noticed that our friend, the Russian officer was talking with the soldiers, and soon after came to tell us to leave the truck. We did not know how to thank you enough. But this man had a heart. He knew of our suffering and just wanted to help us. Do not expect anything from us. (...)

Weeks passed, the weather was getting milder. Magda found a bicycle. We decided to look for food on her double. We managed to find some food and we were back when on a deserted dirt road when we heard soldiers calling on the Russians. Magda accelerated, pedaling as fast as he could. The soldiers started shooting. If you were just shooting into the air or missed the target, we did not know. The important fact is that we can escape unscathed.

Several more weeks passed, it was the spring. We were wondering how and when we could return to Hungary. I was afraid, but still hoped and prayed for a miracle that did see my family again. In my mind I could not believe that the world allowed the genocide of our people for no reason, only because we are members of the Jewish faith. It appeared to be criminal, so unbelievable, but of course, given what he had seen and what had passed, there were many reasons to be fearful.

At one point in May, our friend, the Russian officer came to see us. He said the railroad to Hungary had been repaired. He said the exact moment when a train would be leaving. Advised to take it and follow his advice. We knew we just wanted our good. We really wanted to come back, though I could never call back home to Hungary. He loved the country, it was beautiful, but I kept remembering the Hungarian government's cooperation with the Germans, and their willingness to do all those horrible atrocities against us.

We got on the train. It was difficult to get into the boxcar. There was no platform, we had to pull us inside. It was full of Russian soldiers, many of them drunk. With our heads covered - partially also doused our faces - not looked for anything, except to the floor. The one we saw cisa: drunken soldiers urinating on the floor. After several hours, the train stopped in a small town. We jumped in and transfer to a passenger train. As we walked, looking for a seat, a woman spat in front of us and said: "those dirty Jews are returning." At that moment I was very happy to have survived and that the anti-Semites felt defeat. (...)

Now it is October 1999. We are preparing to spend the harsh winter months in Florida. I'm finishing my memories. They were very difficult to write. I'm tired mentally and physically. It is impossible to accept this unspeakable tragedy that humanity let it happen. Despite all our suffering, I am grateful to the girls Freed utza Var, Kisvarda. They lifted me and encouraged me to continue walking in Birkenau to Auschwitz. They had their great losses, but still cared with another human being.

As we enter a new millennium, I wish health, peace and prosperity, freedom for all religions, equality for all.

Source: Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies - Holocaust Survivors Memoirs