Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Olga Adler - July 26, 1982

Budapest Ghetto

Why did they put the sick people in the ghetto and the healthy people they took away? Why did they do that?

Well, because the healthy people they wanted to kill and take away. The sick people they thought they are putting them in the ghetto, they'll die there anyway.

Oh, I see.

With the bombing and with everything they are not going to bother with them anymore.


The sick and old people, why should they bother with?


It will be less bother for them uh, to, to shoot them or whatever. They'll just take them to the ghetto, death will be anyways uh, destroyed. They should, they are not going to bother with them. So, I went to the ghetto and I was in the ghetto and there I was. I still kept this band and we were bombed, we were bombed day and night and day and night. And in the beginning we had a huge mountain of carrots in the middle of the yard and we took the carrots that somebody had. Yet we had electricity yet and we cooked carrots and we were singing and we were doing the things in the basement of the bombing, the, the buildings were moving around, those huge buildings with the bombing. And then the bombings were over. Then I had uh, I had to go out and see if anybody stayed alive. And I was picking up arms and legs and stomachs and heads. And that's what I was doing.

Were you still uh, pretending to be a nurse?

I wasn't pretending to be a nurse but I had this band, that's what they put on me, that's how I wasn't taken away.


So, I'm not going to take it off because if anything happens, I am a nurse. I am useful for something, you know, and I was useful for something because I did help an awful lot there, you know. Because they sent back from the, from the Front some hundred and thirteen uh, young men who were without arms and without legs and uh, we had to feed them. This was already the Jews made that, that was Jewish already in the ghetto. That, the ghetto had its own policemen...

Oh, I see.

and their own nurses and they brought back uh, from the Front. I don't know how it happened but they brought back some hundred and fourteen, as I say uh, young men who were sick.

German or Jewish or what?

Jewish. That was a ghetto.

Jewish. Ghetto, all right.

Ghetto, just Jews.


The Germans came in constantly to scare, and to look around, but there was a, a... As I say, your own little city, the Jewish ghetto. We were not supposed to go out of the ghetto and uh, they had some community kitchens there in the ghetto. You know, Jews they'll be able to survive somehow if it's given a little chance.

Any synagogues or...

Any... No... No, there's no life. I mean, that was not a normal life, there was constant bombing.


You were just trying to survive, to live. No way to live there. It was war times, you know. Uh, they were coming in constantly. And then, finally the, the bombing was so heavy that the carrots went and the water went and the electricity went. We didn't have even a chance to take the dead people out of the basement because there was a bombing, constant bombing. So, we were without water, without electricity, without food together with the dead people in a basement for months. And the little food... I don't remember how it happened that we had, but I never ate it, I always put it under my pillow for tomorrow and tomorrow I never found it.


Somebody else found it. I never learned. I didn't forgive myself to eat that little food what was left, thinking about that day, tomorrow I will be more hungry and tomorrow won't be even that much. But there was people and I wasn't, wasn't even angry and I'm not angry today because I know when it's about your life, you just, you're just not a human being sometimes. Certain people just live day to day, just like animals.

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