Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Cramped Quarters in the Ghetto

Um, well, so you stayed with her during the rest of that time?

So we went to Budapest, back to Budapest with my sister. And then, then another order came out that all these, all the people, all the Jewish people have to be in one cir... in one ghetto. Before that we were in so-called Jewish houses. We were in a Jewish house with a very big yellow star in front of the house, and the next house maybe wasn't Jewish. So they all, the Jewish people were accumulated in cer... in one house. And house can... Jewish houses could have only Jewish tenants. At night came out that all the Jewish tenants from, scattered around in, in the city has to go to a ghetto. So we went to a ghetto that time. We lived, not ghetto, in an apartment, that's where we lived in two-bedroom apartments thirty-nine people.

Thirty-nine people?

Thirty-nine people, and before everybody slept on the floor. Everybody slept on the floor and I had this, said this, that if we had difficulties, it was, it was a bad period because there's many women, they were arguing, it's not clean and everybody had to clean a certain day a certain... And others were not satisfied. And we had some men who snored at night and then nobody could sleep. And then one of the women was very nervous, hysterical, she woke, we woke him up. He apologized and went back to sleep and snored. And this woman cursed him that he's a pig, he's an animal. It was awful. And always we had too much trouble there. In this house we had trouble because there was a, the woman who owned the apartment he was there, she was there too and she had a nice counter in the, in the kitchen and then she complained that people are not careful using her counter. And we were like, we didn't, didn't know what the future will be and here she's worrying about her counter. So my own sister got hysterical and got a knife and started to...

Oh no.

puncture the counter. She said, you are afraid of the counter, counter. What's going to happen to us tomorrow, do you know? So she got hysterical. It was, that was very difficult, you can imagine that, you can, you can imagine.

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