Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Brenner - December 13, 1981

Budapest Ghetto

Uh, do you remember hearing the name Eichmann when you were in Budapest?

No, no. Eichmann, after the war.

But not during the war.

No, no, no, no.

Um, do you remember any of the Germans who were in charge of, of...

No, no.

...Jews in Budapest?

No, the only uh, as a I say, Szálasi, he was a Hungarian, Nazi leader, he, he came to power after Horthy was overthrown. No, actually because paper we saw them read, we didn't have a change to read paper. And, and, and if it would I don't know if it would be interested in such. Everybody was occupied with himself and immediate family, and I knew there was a Judenrat as such, but I don't know what their function was.

Probably because the Hungarians were doing it, most of the work anyway.

Right, right, right.

Was there a ghetto set up in Budapest?

Yes, it was a ghetto set up.

Do you remember how the ghetto worked? When they, when they began to set it up, what did they... Did they have you move from one house to another?

Well uh, they said they get... they made a street. Well, as I told you, there, there were Jewish ghettos anyway. Not, not, but there was a section of Budapest where the major percentage were Jewish populace. And they did set up the ghetto in that area. I think it was a double or ??? út is a street. And uh, Budapest was divided in twelve section. Uh, first section and so on. And the sixth and seventh section was mostly populated by Jews. And I believe that the part of six section of Budapest they made a ghetto of it.

How did they uh, cordon off the ghetto? Was it with wire?

I don't think they cordoned it off per se, but they have their house was designated as Jewish houses as such. And uh, I think, I don't think it was cordoned off as it was in Poland. It was just designated as such and then they did take people, people out from there to deport them. And uh, uh, lots of them did escape from the ghetto, they went to the Swedish and Swiss protected homes.

Did you know any... During the period of the ghetto did you know any Hungarian non-Jews who helped hide anybody?

Yes, I do. Uh, right next to us where I was quartered, there was a, a, there was a... How do you call that? A, no... Their bunker was...

Wife: Oh, was it a monastery?

Yeah, monastery, a monastery. And uh, they hid quite a few Jewish people. One of them my, my uh, best friend's mother was hidden there and she survived the war there.

And then there was your, your uh, the man who...

Offered me...


...offered me. And I convinced that if, if, if I would have a little more time, maybe a day, a couple of days, I was convinced that he would have saved my life. I don't know if he would be able to, but he would have given me a chance to do it.

Uh, the, the SA men at, at the border, were those Germans or were they...

German. The SA was German.

They weren't Austrian.

Well, it could be Austrian,

Could have been Austrian, okay.

I don't know, could be Austrian. But they Hungarian... They were not Hungarian.

Not Hungarian.

They were, they were mainly the SA were mainly people uh, they were older or they were handicapped people. Handicapped, I say they were injured, they didn't...

During the war.

...or, or civilian life because Germany took advantage of every people have to serve to... for the Fatherland And these people were uh, older people or some final, they were handicapped one of them, no arm, no leg. Something like that.

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