Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bert Dan - November 17, 1982

Life Under Hungarian Occupation

Was that a large city?

Yeah, it was a large city and the, the whole population was about one hundred and fifty thousand people. There was a university and we had our own opera and uh, theaters and so on. It was a beautiful, large city.

How many Jews lived there?

And there was uh, I would say, roughly about twelve thousand Jews in Kolozsvar. And uh, the Hungarians got it back in September of 1940--the end of September 1940. They marched in and the Hungar...the Romanians walked out and the Hungarians took it over. And it wasn't an easy, as easy as I'm telling it to you right now, but they got it back. And actually when the Hungarians took over that's when the real problem started, because the Hung...the Romanians--I don't want to, to uh sound like they were angels. They were by no means, because they had um, people like Tiso who you've heard of I'm sure. And there were many, many, many other Tiso's in Romania. But uh, generally speaking I would say that the Romanians in comparison to the Hungarians were like--??? comparison, they just don't--the Hungarians were more of a Nazi or more of a, a Jew-hater than the Germans themselves. And I really mean that. You know, it is--it was unbelievable. Only people who actually lived there, you know, know what the Hungarians--the way that they, they hated with a passion the Jews. They actually hated them. And there was no way for anybody who wanted to make an honest uh, dollar, you know, to make an honest living, there was no way. They wouldn't allow you because everything was rationed, you know. They wouldn't--you couldn't buy anything. And if there was anything to be sold or to anybody who wanted to buy something they gave it to the Gentile storekeepers, and the Jewish people had no way of making a living. So actually they forced the Jewish population into a sort of a black market. You didn't have to be in the black market, yeah, but indirectly they forced you into it. And--which was a very unfortunate thing. And uh, that's the way we lived.

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