Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Husband Delivers Packages to Prisoners

Well uh, now getting back to your family, what happened to your parents?

No, I want to say another thing, incident. My husband wasn't there as I told you and he came to the city everyday. And all the other uh, people, Jewish people who were in this labor force knew, they were together in the First World War, this was the same unit. And he knew them. And he had occasion to come to the city every day and many people were from Budapest, their relatives lived in Budapest so they had him to pick up loosed packages and things, and we always, he always had time to go up to my sister and people who knew that he's coming they left packages with my sister. And she's angry for that, too much.

She's angry?

Yeah, because it was too much coming and going, she was afraid something, somebody notices. And he carried these packages back to the, to the labor force people and everybody was happy. Do you understand what I said? Is it clear?

Yes, it's very clear.

Halfway clear?

It's very clear.

And uh, one day somebody noticed that he's giving a package to one of them. He usually did it that nobody saw it. And they reported him to the headquarter. They said that he taking packages. And...

What kind of packages?

A little food.

From, that he had saved to give?

No people...

Oh people would give to him.

Give to him to carry back to the camp because he came by truck. And somebody noticed this, so they, they arrested the man whom he gave him the package. They arrested the man and they put him in jail. And my husband asked the man that he want to talk to the officer. So he went to the officer and said, you have to punish me, not him, because he didn't know. I asked him whether he wanted, he is not, uh...


he is not guilty, I am guilty. You know what the officer did? He told the, the guard to bring the man in who was in jail. He said, you get, you are free. And when nobody was in the room he told my husband, you are a gentleman. I don't want to punish you either.

This was a German or a Hungarian?

A German.

A German said that?

A German, you see that? You are a gentleman, I don't punish you. See that? In another occasion, he was punished for some reason, I don't know. I remember that I said here, I don't remember why. He was put in the jail, but in the little village they didn't have jails he, he was put in a chicken coop and he couldn't stand up. And in the, in the same unit there were Hungarian soldiers too who were in the... And one of the soldiers was the same man who we lived in our countryside. And my husband was very respected. He was a landowner and he was very charitable. He helped the poor people. He was very much respected. Here he was put in jail and the man who was our peasant was his guard. And he was... In the coop?

Humble? Oh, he was crouched.

In the coop. And all of a sudden the door opens and the man comes with a stool, and said master, would this help you? And he sat down. See, there were many people who, if I, you read that it seems that all, every pe... all the people were generous and good. There were goodhearted people. He didn't have to do anything and yet, master can you, give you more...

[interruption in interview]

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