Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eva Ackermann - December 6, 1982

Conditions on March II

Let me ask one question. Did you ever hear of a man named Kessler?

No. Who was he?

Uh, he was in ch...charge of the Judenrat in uh, in Budapest...

In Budapest?

...and cooperated with Eichmann. Okay, lets--I was just curious, um.

Names uh, probably didn't stick with me too long. Uh, Szálasi, of course, was uh, king fish, so he was uh, he was the head of it and, uh

Let me ask you a little bit about this march. What happened to people who wanted to stop to go to the bathroom or something while you were...

Oh we just went, right on the side of the road.

While you were walking?

While you were walking because uh, it was probably miles long, because not everybody was walking at the same pace. You see, in the concentration camp, you had to walk at the same pace whether you wanted to or not. Over here, it was more uh, that was more relaxed. Uh, if you chose to uh, abandon your knapsack and take off your Star of David you were able to do so without--but if they caught you, they shot you right into the uh, the side of the road.

You saw people shot on the side of the road?

I heard it right down the line so it was uh, it intimidated me and I uh, I wouldn't have known where to go. See, those people I'm sure, were either more--had more guts uh, at that point, I really didn't have any ambition to uh, to do anything. I was too tired. I wouldn't be able to--I would be just--if someone would have asked my name, I would have just said right what my name was and who I was. You couldn't do that if you wanted to escape, but you couldn't escape as running. You could just escape uh, if you had maybe papers in your uh, pocket or if you had uh, you've got to uh, to go back and uh, and if somebody stops you, you were able to uh, get yourself out somehow. But I had neither--there was just no way. I had neither--I-- even if I would have gone back I--there would have been no place for me to go--I wouldn't know where to go.

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