Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Brenner - December 13, 1981

Visiting Mauthausen

Is it easier to talk...

Oh by the way, I, I forgot to tell you, should I tell you that I went back? I had a trip to Ausch... back to Hungary and... I mentioned it to you before, I think, in private.

Yeah, we should talk about that.

Okay, about uh, three years ago--was it?--we took a trip, me and my wife and a good friend of mine whom I went through this whole misery, with his wife. We took a trip back to Hungary. Our purpose was, nothing else, take her back to Hungary, it's a pleasure trip. Go to Austria for a day or two and then back to Italy where we were, because we had... I had, I had fond memories from there. And, you know, show my wife Venice and all the beautiful uh, Italian cities.

And you went to Mauthausen.

And as I, as I told you, we went back to, our first stop was in Budapest. And I went to visit my... I also want to show my wife where I was born and the home where I used to live. And I took a friend of mine from... My brother's brother-in-law lives in Hungary and he has a car and took us down to Vásárosnamény where I was born. By the way I don't mention, I don't know if I ever mentioned how old I am in this, I was born in 1924.

You mentioned.

Okay, we mentioned. Anyway, took us back there and I showed my wife, I find the place where I, where I spend my childhood. The home is staying there. I took pictures very, very nicely kept. It's Hungarian lawyers sitting... living in there. And uh, as I visited he was kind enough to go inside and visiting the rooms and uh, I... It's precious to my mind where my parents were sleeping in this room, my brother in this room, my sister, my grandparents. Everything came vividly and then naturally I, I was very sentimental about it and I broke out in crying because all those memories goes through your head. My wife was very sympathy to me and she holded on to me. So, it was, it was very moving and uh, dramatic going back in the past. So, that was one part of it, my visit. And then the second part of it, as we rented a car in Vienna going to Italy and on the way to, from Vienna to Italy we passing by the Autobahn and I, all of a sudden, I see a sign saying Mauthausen uh, and it says uh, concentration camp. Not concentra... museum, and it shows an arrow how to go there. I don't say nothing, I just look at it and it hit me. I keep on driving, driving, driving and just, the thought doesn't let go of me and I saying, this is not where I was. I have to go back. And we arrived to our destin... to our destination place where we had it planned out, a little village in Austria. We spend the night there. In the morning, I tell my wife, I have to go back. Want to come... it's about hundred kilometer away. I don't care if you want to come, you're welcome, otherwise I have to go back myself. So, I asked my friend, would you like to come back with me. He's hesitating and his wife says no, because he has a heart condition. He does, so his wife won't let him. So, I said, okay, then I am going. So, my wife came with me and we went visiting the concentration camp. Maybe my wife want to make a couple of comments. Would you?

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