Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Olga Adler - July 26, 1982

Jewish Friends

One of your friends was Jewish and one was a Gentile?

I, I knew that both were Gentile boys.


Both were Gentile boys, very lovely two boys. But they weren't, that's what I want to bring out, one didn't even know. He says, I have to talk to you very urgently. So one them, I went down and his eyes were swollen and red and I said, "What happened to you? What, what's the matter?" He says, "This afternoon, my father told me this afternoon that we are Jewish." He was the president of the biggest bank in the city by the name of Fallegy. It was a, probably changed his name back, it's a real Hungarian name. And this poor guy never knew that he was Jewish. But already when Hitler came in and trouble started, the father had to tell his boy that he's Jewish. So, what can I say? I told him I am sorry for you because we don't know what our future will be but you are Jewish and you'll have to just take whatever everybody else will take. I mean...

Why did his father have to tell him that he was Jewish?

Because you had to. I mean, if your, if your grandma... grandfather was converted already a long time ago, but still the father's father was a Jew and to Hitler it didn't make any difference. And the father knew that trouble will start, so his, his son has to know that he is Jewish.


And this young man was killed—I don't know if you, anybody told you about that—there was the Danube River...


in Budapest. Buda, Pest, and the Danube River. And one day they took down some Jews and they shot them right into the Danube River. And this young man was one of them, which I found out, an only son. So, he was shot into the Danube River later on. And this, the other one, Ka... Kamil was his name where he sa... I told him, "Kamil, I don't know what's going to happen to me. I can't pay my rent. My parents cannot send me money anymore because there is no way I'm..." My mother sent me a package, some clothes up to Budapest and I opened the clothes and some place, they poured some kind of acid on the package and my clothes came out, I have never seen anything like it. It dissolved. Just like when I opened the package because my mother said that, I'm, because she knew that things are bad already and I will need clothes because winter will come. So, she sent me some things up, so, some acid, I don't know what. But when I took them out it was just nothing. The whole thing, so I didn't have any. And I was very much worried about my parents because that was the last card I got from my mother in the 17th of May. Already they... I knew that they were concentrating them into the Jewish synagogue and they were there in the synagogue. But I didn't have any communications with them. Just sometimes something, you know, you hear. But I wasn't sure. I was, I, I, the, the, the letters, the cards stopped coming. And uh, so I was very much afraid of my, for, for my parents. But I was a young girl in Budapest I had to uh, I, I had to do something with myself. I had to... I knew that uh, where I lived and if I'm not going to pay my rent, they are going to throw me out. I mean, people just had to live, they would, and I would have to eat. And as fate does it, this Kamil had an aunt, this young man. This Kamil's mother was Jewish and then this came out too. The mother was Jewish and the father was Gentile. And he...

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