Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Looting of the City

So anyway, you um, after the war you continued to live in Hungary. You and your husband reunited. And what hap... how did he work? What did he do? He no longer had his land? What happened?

You know, during that when I delivered this paper with this ??? paper I told you there was a lot of air raids, all the time air raids. And one day after the Russians occupied the, the city, there was quiet and then people, they had two, two days' spoil—how do you call that—that they can, the soldiers and the inhabitants can do, rob anything—I have a name, but...

Yes. Loot.

Loot, two days. So then everybody went, all the stores and they emptied, they took everything away. I didn't...

The army allowed?

The army allowed that. Their spoils, because the victorious army for two days, the occupied city.

So soldiers and citizens alike were allowed to loot?

Everybody. Everybody in the city. And then, I didn't feel like going somehow. And the woman I lived with, I told you I didn't tell her that I'm a Jew yet. And the woman I lived with said, ???, everybody goes, if you don't go you can't expect somebody else goes for you to, to have food. You see? It was... Then I went, and I went, I didn't want to be different. I went to a store, like a food store here, like a food market here, and I went and what I found, one bottle of white shoe shine. I will never forget. All, it was that empty. They left a bottle of white shoe shine. It, it was looted completely, completely.

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