Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Magda Beer - July 5, 1983

Life Before the War

So you, you made--you worked at the same place all that time, until you were married?

Yes I was working in a uh, big uh, ware...store, like here.

Woman: Department store.


You know, its, I was working in the office.

And you stayed--this was in Budapest?


So you stayed there always?

Yes, yes.

And were you a religious family?

No not even because my, my mother was alone and we needed to work always, even on Saturdays.

Mm-hm, so you...

If, if no man in the house then ??? it was the children.

And um, was your brother older than you or younger?

Younger one year.

Mm-hm. Um, what did your husband do for a living?

They had a little uh, factory, like, they made uh, beds and uh, furniture for garden you know.

Woman: Garden furniture.


Woman: Like outside, like outside.


And my father-in-law was take away by the uh, SS because he was a little bit wealthy, you know.


He had money.

When was that?

It was in '44 March. The Germans came to Hungary the next--'44 and the next month they take away my father-in-law. And after they took him to, to uh, by seminary in ??? Street and from there to Buchenwald and he died there.

And was your brother taken to work?

My brother was in, in the army and after a year--you know, everybody has to go to army for two or three years. I don't even know. And he was in, in his first year--in a certain age, you know...


...and then he has to give away the uniform and get the, the civil uh, clothes and they took him to Russia. The SS, yeah.

The SS or the Hungarians?

Hungarian, SS they the same because, uh...

The Iron Guard or whatever...


And he died there?


Did you know that he died before the war? I mean...

We didn't get nothing--no word from them.

So later somebody...

And somebody came back after five yeas, I was talking with him, and he said that uh, he was very sick. He had, he had this uh, typhus...


...or something. He was in the hospital, but he didn't know that uh, my brother died, which is...

What was your, your name before you were married?

Uh, Szesz. S-Z-E-S-Z.



Okay. I've seen that name.


That's a Hungarian name.


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