Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lila Denes - May 19, 1989

Hometown Post-War

Did you go back to your hometown to see what had happened there?

I went back after awhile but there were nobody--I mean there from the 150 or 200 Jewish people who used to live there, there were about ten who came back, about ten people. And they took away everything from my parent's house. It was empty.

Was somebody else living in it?

Uh, yes. Then they had to move out because it was our house. So, we sold it to somebody.

So, the government let you do that?

By then, sure. I mean that was after the war ended. Of course, that was already the communist era but little uh, house, you know, your family, you can own your own house.

Did you know that nobody was going to be left when you went there?

We waited; we thought maybe somebody comes home. Nobody came home. From my family, all my uncles, aunts--who, who was in those small cities--my parents, my two grandfather, my cousins, nobody came back.

How many do you think there were?

Well, I had uh, four, five uncles and their wives and their children, and some distant relatives. Oh, a cousin, a girl, came back. Uh, she was an opera singer. She used to study in Vienna. She was a Wagnerian singer and somehow she came back.

From the camp?

Pardon me?

From Auschwitz?

From uh, she was somewhere in, in Austria. She went to Auschwitz but then they take her to another place because she was a big, strong girl. A real Brunhilda, you know. And she used to work some factory or something. And she came back, she was about that thin.

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