Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Brenner - December 13, 1981

Anti-Semitism 2

Did this start in 1938...

Yeah, in 1938, at that time.

...or did it go on before?

No, not before. Before... They, they, the local people, some of them are drunk. But it was dark maybe next day accordingly. It wasn't that bad. So, and going to shul I remember the first bad experience I had, I'm going with my father carrying his uh, tallit and holding on to his hand. One of these uh, uh, soldier, the so-called the Free Army, came and stopped us and looked on my face, and I never forget it, says to me, "Prayer is shining from your eyes," and hit my father. Get a hold of his beard and hit my father. As a youngster I didn't how to protect him because uh, physical strength I didn't have to help him, but immediately I run and I picked up a stone from, from, from, from, from the ground. I look for a stone because... and I threw at the soldier. So, I figure that I get his attention away from my father, he will... I could run faster than him. And that what I did. I kept throwing stone on him and he left my father alone and he runned after me. Naturally he couldn't catch me. So, somehow we got away from him. But that felt such a deep impression on me that I almost, I, I trembled, I trembled. So, this was for, going on for a while, and maybe for about uh, four, five months they were staying there and then they were transferred. They jumped into action, these people. Later on I heard a lot of the soldiers who were captured and they were really tortured by the Czechs. But what they did there, their main function was to go and start to make turmoil. Like a se... what you call this one, a fifth army or something?

Fifth column.

Fifth column. Because in those places--don't forget--they spoke Hungarian, because originally they was Hungary and so what they did, they tried to, they tried to uh, get lost on the, in, in, in, in the community and at night they make a guerilla warfare. Anyway, in '39 I believe anyway they were given back to Hungary. Those... Legally, those countries they think they achieved their purposes. Now, in the it's going backward to forwards uh, the wind of war start to blow I think uh, maybe in, I think, '39 when uh, Hitler invaded uh, Poland. Uh, I think that Hungary was a kind of a... had some kind of a treaty with Germany. I don't know exactly what kind of a treaty they had, they had kind of a, a friendship treaty perhaps. In order to please, I guess, Hitler, the Hungarian government started to come out with Jewish laws. A Jew are not supposed to hold more than so many acre of land. A, a Jew is not supposed to be admitted to universities or, and a Jew are not supposed to work in certain government uh, position, only the lower position, not the higher position.

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