Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lila Denes - May 19, 1989

Traveling to Germany

And, and now you had three children?

Three children. But, I went to my family doctor and I said, "You know, I don't want the children talk on that Orient Express. I don't want anybody know who we are except what we have passport. What can I do?" He was a very nice man and a long time our family doctor. He said, "Don't worry, I give you some sleeping pills. They can take it. They will sleep through the night and by morning you are in Vienna." So, about Sunday I told my husband. I had to. He was very excited and just what I told you, right away, to that friend, that Geza who was helping us, he gave a big machine that they should move it out and this, and this and this. So anyway, Tuesday night we went to the railway station and we boarded the train and I thought we will be lucky because as we boarded the train, a man was uh, in the window and said to somebody, "Shalom, Shalom." Then I recognized him, he was the Israel consul ??? He was traveling also. So, we went on and I gave the children the sleeping pills and pretty soon they went to sleep. Then the uh, they came to uh, see our passports and uh, the railway man, you know, and he said, "Oh, you came from Czechoslovakia? You're just traveling through?" "Yes," I said. "Okay, then you can go to sleep." Of course, we couldn't sleep much, anyway, we sat down and I don't know how many hours later we heard, "Hegyeshalom." That's the, that's the last stop...

In Hungary...

In Hungary. And we heard the German talk that the Austrian uh, Wienaus, what do you call them? The Austrian...


Custom people came out. So, that was it. We arrived in Vienna and somebody waited for us from that organization. And he took our passport right away. He said, "You don't know anything about the, anything. You walked across the border, if anybody ask, and you don't know about us and you never had a false passport." And of course, Americans won't let you in if you had false papers either. But then, after that, we used our own identification and papers and everything. We were in Vienna for, five or six weeks because at that time there was American zone, Russian zone. We had to cross the Russian zone in order to go to Salzburg because my brother was already living in Salzburg. That's where we wanted to go. So, at the um, Rothschild, you know, you've heard about the Rothschild Hospital where they take care of things, they said we had to wait for a certain bus that will take you where a certain Russian people at the um, controlled, you know, because they will let you over, cross. So later, five or six weeks when they said, "Yes, tomorrow be ready, you're going." So, we boarded the bus and that and it took us to Salzburg. Yes, the Russian soldiers came up and look, looked but they didn't do anything, so they let us go.

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