Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Brenner - December 13, 1981


Let me just interrupt for a second. Did--how many members of your family, outside of the immediate household, were there in your town? You had, you had three aunts in Budapest?


And how many in, in your town?

In, in my town? Okay, I had my... both grandfa... grandparents. My father parents, as I told you, they were pious Jews. And I also mentioned to you that my, my mother's parents came to town and, and my father built, built an extra wing in our quarters to boarder them there. And also I had my... one of my father's brother's family. This was Soviet. All family with five children. Like, one grandfather, the other grandfather and an uncle and an aunt.

And how many children? And they had...

They had, I think, one child. And we had with me five.

Was there anybody who uh, by 1941, say uh, in either in your family or your friends who said, let's get out, let's leave town?

No, no.

Was anybody very politically involved? Were they... Did they follow politics, Hungarian politics, or...

Followed it, but as such, but not active.

But they were not active. They weren't...

No, no.

...any strong Zionists or strong Socialists or...

No, no, no, no, no, no. We were... We, we never... I don't remember anybody having a, any kind of a organization as such to uh, Labor, Zionist, or any kind of thing. As a youngster we talked about it, to Zionist sort of thing, but afterwards that's where it ended. But there wasn't a leader who said that we get together and, and like, as I know here in this country, there was no such a thing.

Okay. What... Well before the war then, what were your plans for the future? As a, as a twelve-year-old, what would you have done?

Just go to school uh, marry there and live in town, and have a store, whatever. Because my parents probably... That's what, the way it was it was usually. Uh, buy a store for the kid and establish a livelihood and stay in town and, and pro... and just keep on living the way it is. Uh, we, we go in the morning and in the afternoon to, to uh, daven and uh, buy a newspaper, listen to the radio. And that's about activities we had. But mostly it's to go to study, study, and study.

Up until 1940, did anybody know names of national political leaders like Imrédy and...

Yes. Oh, we all... Oh yes. Oh, we all knew what... Oh sure, we, we read newspaper and radio. Yes, we--that was part of going to shul, to discuss politics. Oh definitely, we knew everything what goes on in, in, in, in politics. We knew what goes on in, in, in the uh, foreign politics. We knew that Hitler is involved in, what uh, England and France were doing. Naturally I was a child, but I know that my father was very uh, every day we read the paper and, and uh, he know... We knew what was going on.


But we never, we never felt, we never felt that, we never felt that it going to be a danger to him, especially to him because he felt that he's a...

A veteran.

...veteran and, and, and he was decorated World War I, and he had uh, privileges. He never felt that it was going to happen to him. And he, he always felt that he's a Hungarian citizen and he uh, fought his country and, and he--that's his country. I know later on, in '44, I wasn't home, my sister tells me that my uh, brother begged him to... Let's go somewhere. And uh, but there wasn't where to go anymore.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn