Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Brenner - December 13, 1981


Now, in, in, I mean, late in summer that year--must have been September, October--the Hungarian Army fall, which was the leader, under the leadership of Horthy. Horthy, Miklós, H-O-R-T-Y. And the Hungarian, they call this one a Hungarian--what kind of a cross? Not Hakenkreuz but they different.

Iron Cross.

What's that?

Iron Cross.

Not iron. It had this symbol. I don't know what that...

It wasn't the Iron Guard, was it?

The Iron Guard was in Romania.


Romania. Anyway, another, ano... His name was Szálasi, he was a leader, he was, he, he was a, the Nazi leader in, in Hungary. His name is Szálasi. S-A... S-Z-A-L-A-S-Y. And what happened to Horthy, I don't know why he was overthrown and he became installed as a leader. And uh, to show that he is so loyal to the German government, he behaved worse than the Nazis themselves.


Szálasi, right. He had a cohort which they, in that short time when they were in power they had such atrocities, they took Jews from Budapest and took 'em to the Danube and shot them right there... Shot them right into the Danube. They say that--I haven't seen it--they say the Danube was actually red from blood sometimes. And they tried to deport Jews even from Budapest, they took 'em to... snatch 'em in from these homes. And by this time all the Jews--except from Budapest--they were taken to concentration camp. I remember I got one card from my... from one of my brothers--the next youngest right after me--a, one card saying that I'm feeling fine and everything is okay. And that no address, nothing, and so it was. And naturally I, I kind of felt that he's okay. You know, when, when, when somebody could write to you, that's our idea not only that it's light there but uh, they're allowed to write. But we didn't know. We heard... I remember once I, I, I, I seen some kind of a literature, which was supposedly uh, to the underground, describe Auschwitz but I didn't believe it. I thought it's a propaganda from the underground. But things started to give and... This fellow who came in under power, things started to get real bad. Uh, they, even by us, they uh, our freedom was uh, kind of a... You see, what happened, when I was under this, we're not supposed to leave this place, it's supposed to be a kind of concentration kind of for us. But nevertheless these Hungarian officers uh, we had well-to-do Jewish people among us that uh, in and this... where I was in the forced labor camp. As I mentioned to you, about half of us youngsters, half of us established, probably established businessmen. And for some reason or other, I think they paid off this Hungarian officer, but they looked aside, really things which, by the law, by their rules were not supposed to do. For example, Sunday they were coming in visitors because, as I said to you that most of the Hungarian Jews in Budapest they were kind of uh, safe. So and... Most of the boys whom I was with, they were from Budapest because original, we didn't come from Budapest. I was maybe one of the few who were from the country. Matter of fact, I was so envious of them. Every Sunday, their parents came to visit them and they brought them some goodies, and I as a outsider, because although I had my aunts and all those things, but they had their own side to take care of it, because the husband was one of 'em... One of my aunt's husband was also in Budapest. So, all the time that they had they concentrated to their family side, direct, the immediate. I was only just a nephew. So I felt, I felt jealous that these boys, the parents are coming.

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