Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Olga Adler - July 26, 1982

Concentration Camp

And where did you think you were going? To a concentration camp, right? And what did you think they were going to do with you?

I have to think back. I have to make myself twenty years old. I don't know what we were thinking. I really don't know what we were thinking because a certain, after a certain time you use your head and you use your mind and you use your body, you get kind of a little bit uh, really off it and you just think to yourself, you become fatalistic. It's going to be what's going to be. What is bashert for you, it's going to come. And on the way you never know what's, what kind of situations will be and what you can do with yourself, but I just knew one thing that I had to go because I had no family, I had nobody there. I mean, I didn't even know people in Budapest.


I didn't know any Gentiles. I didn't know anybody. So, I just couldn't stay there. And we went and, uh... No, they told us. No, I, this slowly comes back to me that we are going to go to a forced labor camp. And we went to a forced labor camp. We went to the other side of the Danube, over with barges I remember. And um, we were in a camp. The camp's name was, was ??? that's right. It's a small Hungarian village. And we were stationed at the, at the school uh, house, a school yard in stalls. And every morning you had to get up just like the men. Had to get up and go mm, I don't know how many kilometers and dig trenches because they wanted to dig trenches around Budapest that if the Russians or, or whatever attacks will come wouldn't be able to get, get into Budapest, you know...


falling into the ditches. So, there was, there were ??? peasants, huge men, and there were little girls like I was, young girls from... You had to get up at five o'clock in the morning, walk for about two hours, and then take the shovel and dig the trenches and dig and dig. And we got, before when we went out in the morning we got our, our ration, which was a slice of bread, a slice of stinking margarine or whatever. And I think that was it. And was rain or shine or whatever and it was October. It started...


October already. And we were there and we did that and uh, on one day we had a free day and we were sitting and if you believe me we were singing and cleaning our shoes. We had no... Where I lived in Budapest maybe had, but I didn't have any winter things with me to take. I just had a little green pair of shoes. And I don't remember pants were not in style that time, I wore a dress and I was going and when I didn't have that I went barefoot and I did the things. But it was fine, I was young and I did it and uh, I hoped that uh, this is going to be over and my parents will be at home and it's going to be over and I go home and I will continue my life as, as I, as it did. But uh, it always came that they are going to take us tomorrow and they are going to take us tomorrow and they are going to take us tomorrow and I had two good friends. I became friends with the girls. One was a young woman a few years older than I was. That was the biggest paper merchant was in the city, Fahir and Weinberger, that was their daughter, big black eyes. And the other one was a young piano teacher by the name of Olga; her name was Olga too. And we became very good friends and she told me, "Well, I am from Budapest and I have family there and we have friends there and they are Gentiles and uh, maybe, maybe we should run away and maybe we should try to go get back to Budapest because we just, we are not going to walk to, to a concentration camp. We are not going to do it because this, this labor camp is not going to stay here forever. The, the things will be done already and then they are going to take us." So I, what can I lose, I'm going to go with you. And now you are going to hear a story. And now I... We went to the station, we walked to the station. And we were, there was a little forest near the station and we were waiting in the forest for this, for the train to come in. You know, I didn't use my head what will be when we get to Budapest that there is no way that you can walk from the station to someplace without the papers that you are Maria so and so. Two Jewish girls, we didn't take out the stars or anything. But you just go...

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