Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

The Hungarian Ransom

It was taken away from you or do, do you remember your mother selling those items?

No, you would, Jews would have to turn that in.

They were required to...

They were required to, to, to bring it to them--whatever their central area. Then you get silver, gold, jewelry anything like that, there was uh, Jews didn't need that. Radios we weren't allowed to listen to.

Do you ever remember hearing about the raising of money, a ransom in order to, uh...


...keep the Jews in Hungary?

Yes uh, funny enough. I always--whenever I look back at that thought hits me. It was for uh, but they didn't want money. They wanted--Germany wanted uh, trucks. They wanted uh, guns, they wanted military supplies. They didn't want the money. I think the world was just moving for the Jews a little bit too slow. There was talk, by the time the, the actual helping came along when there would have been already somebody to come and help us. We were taken. I, I, I think uh, I remember hearing, but uh, the story was that uh, there's an organization working for us and they'll be helping us--we won't be taken away. Mind you, we were taken away in May of 1944. Russia occupied that territory in October.

What was the name of that organization? Was it called a Judenrat?

It wa...Judenrat was in every city.

What was it, I mean...

The Judenrat is a, is a Jewish--okay, it's Jewish, um...


...heads of state. It's not--had nothing to do with the country. It has to do with--in the Jewish uh, uh, community. The community leaders. Same community leaders that would always say to the lesser Jew, "You go first." You know, the ones that were uh, it was organization, it was the Judenrat, it was--but this was mainly on--same as the Jewish welfare organization. Any of the uh, organizations that you've got. But, of course--I'm not too familiar with...

What they did.

...what they actually did.



Do you remember your mother taking the items to any places for ransom, raising money?

Probably. You know, parents are very--what--smart people. They don't want their children to know what--how they come about feeding them or taking care of them. Um, probably...

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