Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bert Dan - November 17, 1982

Freeing Hungarian Prisoners II


It was a two story building and four of the girls looked out the window, and then when they saw they started screaming. They recognized me and Paul. They came from our hometown. And they started screaming and crying, "Get us out of here! Get us out of here!" And we told them, "Not worry and don't get panicky, I'm going to try to do everything possible to get you out." And we went over to the soldiers and two of those guys--we took--we had cigarettes--a, a pack of a thousand cigarettes. Do you know what that meant at that time? You could buy a building for a thousand cigarettes. So, tremendous. We gave them a whole bag of cigarettes--of a thousand cigarettes. And we gave them a bottle--a large huge bottle of whiskey. That whiskey was ninety-six proof, you know. And this soldier, when they saw that they were actually shaking. And they started drinking it. If I could on...if I could only smell it, honestly, I would be knocked out. And they were drinking it like, you know, like, like water. And they really let it down. And we told them what we want. "Go ahead, don't worry." And they just let us in. And all four of us--these two guys and Paul and myself--we walked right in and went upstairs and there were about fifty of them and mostly from our hometown. Not all of them, but the majority of them were from our hometown. And that reunion was unbelievable. And we told them "Look, not to worry and we are going to see to it that they are going to get free today." And they're dancing and singing and crying and doing everything. So anyway they had belongings--whatever they had after liberation, you know, when the Russians took over. They went into homes and they grabbed their clothing or whatever they had and everybody had already a package. And I told them when they held those packages, "What do you need them for?" "Oh, we are not going to let it go." Everybody needed it, you know, they wanted it.

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