Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Clara Dan - July 1, 1982


So they were... or the Nazis.

they were like the head of the Jewish community?

Well uh, they were head, but they were, they were very well to do people. And they picked these two people that, for instance, in the meantime, they had meetings. We didn't know about this because my uncle didn't tell us. I was a kid, my sister was older, but they didn't tell us that uh, they were talking that for ransom the Jews could be saved in our small city, which was known as a university city really. And by this, I mean uh, money. Jewelry, gold, silver, paintings, Persian rugs. So they started collecting these things because they were promised that if they have enough of this, they might be able to exchange lives. And that by having this connections I had my grandmother living from my mother's side who was an eighty-two-year-old youngster at that, lovable. So, they promised for my grandmother that they would not let them go. If anything happens to everybody, but my grandmother would be safe, would be put in a house, in a private home and taken care of. For what the family paid a fortune. So.

This was your uncle's and your mothers' brother?

No, my, this--that was, his wife was my mother's sister.

So this grandmother was...

Yes, yes.

from both families.

From both families. But uh, everything was, came so sudden. This was at night, in the afternoon when my uncle came down and early in the morning we heard knocks on the door. And uh, the Hungarian soldiers were collecting already the Jews. They gave us about half an hour to get together what we can because we were to be taken to this brick factory what I mentioned.

So the Nazis hadn't taken over.

These were Hungarian Nazis.

But they weren't German.

No, no, they were not, they were not Germans. They were Hungarians. But known that is...

They were just as bad.

the Nazis. Absolutely. That's why deep down, deep down I never know whether I hated the Nazis more or these Hungarians. Because these were the ones who took us out, okay? With big feathers.

This was just at Pesach.

This is when it happened just before, before, around Pesach time.

Mm-hm. in our hometown, okay, because everywhere it happened in a different time. But from all ??? from Saturday. From us there were three places where the really, the Hungarians were taken. This was Kolozsvár, Marosvasarhely and ???, bigger cities, okay? Now each of these cities had their own brick factory where they were taken. So we from Marosvasarhely were taken to the brick factory which belonged to Marosvasarhely, okay? And there when we got there of course half an hour we had to get together what, what we get and what we could. And uh, in brick factory we had tents.

It was, you said before it was a labor camp? Did you...

Well, really and truly this wasn't. I couldn't call it labor camp. No, no.

More like a ghetto?

It--more like a ghetto, yes. But it was called a brick factory. You can call it a ghetto, okay? But no homes or no houses or no bricks. It was just called a brick factory, like a ghetto, but they were tents. And, uh...

[telephone rings--interruption in interview]

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