Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bert Dan - November 17, 1982

Being Arrested

Now my part, for example in 1941--up until then I had odd jobs here and there and uh, in '41--in November the 9th actually. That's--cause I remember very, very distinctly. I arrived by train. I was in Budapest. And on my way home, when I arrived in my hometown in Kolozsvar, there were--I see my sisters. I had four sisters, and two of them--the four sisters were at a train at the station. I couldn't it figure out why they are there. And I got out and I said, "For crying out loud, what are you doing here so early in the morning?" It was seven o'clock in the morning, you know, and it was very unusual, because they never waited for me whenever I was away--they never waited for me and this was an occasion where they did wait. And I told them, "Why didn't you stay?" "We wanted to come out to wait for you." And we walked together and I didn't live too far away from the station, so we didn't even have to take a cab or anything, we just walked. And while we were walking then one--my--one of my sisters told me that uh, "There are two gentlemen who are walking right behind us and they were over at our house yesterday and they wanted to talk to you and they are right here behind us so don't get panicky and uh, we don't know actually what they want." And they followed me to the house and my mother who was already old at the time, you know, and she was very--an elderly woman. And these two guys walked right behind us and we came and when--the minute I was at the door, before I even had a chance to walk into the house, they pulled out a gun and stuck it into my back and they said, "You are under arrest and don't make any move because your life depends on it." And I said, "Hey I didn't do anything." And uh, we walked into the house and they searched me without asking any further questions. They started searching me and took a--I had a suitcase, a small suitcase and they opened it up and uh, I had a small uh, prayer shawl and a teffilin, I don't know whether you know what that means. And that was near in a pack of pajamas and a shirt and stuff like that. And--but they didn't find anything, I don't know whatever they were looking for. And then they told me that "You will have to come along with us because we have to ask you some questions." And they took me into the police station and they started questioning me and they told me that they have another couple of men under arrest who are not Jewish and they stressed it very, very strongly. Uh, they claimed that they know me and they will have to take me down there.

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