Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Obtaining False Papers

Did it, did it ever occur to you to get false papers and get out of the country?

This takes a long time before it happens. And then, so we lived... That's when my sister said the Germans were marching and we lived in this Jewish house. And then the, from the Jewish houses, my husband was in... My husband, I told you that he was called in, right?


And he was in the labor force. And he was a...attached to a German, German arm... unit. They were building an airplane field in, in Hungary. What do you call that?

Air, airport or... Yes, that's right, airfield.

In Hungary and it was not very far from Budapest. So he was there and he used to come, he was, he became an interpreter for the German people, who were building that, German army, and he was an interpreter because he spoke very fluent German. And then the ar... When they needed material for the, for the building, the trucks always came to Budapest to get the order from the ministry that they can pick up the, pick up building material. And he was always sent in with the truck to Budapest, as I told you. And one day he told me that he wants to help us to run away from there. And one day when, with the truck, they come in, I get to see the truck almost every day and it was, in the summer it was very hot, the truck stopped, stopped at an inn, and they went in to have a sandwich and a beer. But he was staying out. He didn't go in because he had a yellow star, he was not supposed to go in. And one woman, the innkeeper, came out and said, “Why don't you come in?” And he mentioned, motioned to the yellow star and said, “I cannot go in.” She said, “Come to the back door, I'll give you something to drink.” And he went in the back door and just, on the spur of the moment, he told the woman, “I have a wife and a son, will you help me to...

Save them?

rescue them.” Did I tell you that story?

Not yet, no.

And a spur of the moment, without knowing the woman, she didn't speak one word to him just immediately, and he said he noticed that the woman is a good heart and she promised yes. And a few days later...

This is of course a Gentile woman.

A Gentile, yeah. And the next, very short period my husband, it was on July 2, I remember the date already because it was my birthday. My husband came in and he said I have papers for you and you can, you come with me and we go to the country, I take you to the country.

Now um, how did you, how did this woman get the papers?

She, she knew someone, one of her friends had a sister who died. And she, they had, in, in Hungary all women who worked in factories or in household, they had a so-called working book. It was always put down when they started to, on a place and then they left a place. And also any recommendation. And you can hire these ??? or something. And she gave a book to my husband of the person who wasn't alive anymore. And that was a match because according to that book I was some four or five years younger, but it didn't matter. So we came up on July 2, and said you come with me, you and Sy—that's my son—come with me, we go to the country. And I just ??? that I have no idea who this woman, I have never seen. I felt much secure together with my family in the Jewish home to go into the world as a Catholic and I have no idea where to and how?

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