Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Noemi Engel Ebenstein - July 22, 1996

Deutsch Wagram

Do you remember what happened after that?

No. No, not at all. I, I don't remember chronologically anything until liberation. From liberation on, I was almost four years old, I have clear memories. So, um. Before we go on I would like to share with you this one story because I think it's a heartwarming story. Um, I'm going to read this to you from what I wrote with, uh, from the interview with my mother. "During Christmas, uh, my mother told my brother to go to the next town, which was Deutsch Wagram." I found it on the map. Of course, when we were in '85 in Europe, I did not look up Strasshof or Moosbierbaum or Deutsch Wagram. None of them had a reality. It did not even dawn on me to look up these places. But I looked the map later on. I think, uh, yeah, when I was transcribing the tapes for my daughter, that's when I looked up these places. And lo and behold, they exist in reality. That was a big shock. Anyway, "So we were near Deutsch Wagram, which is a small town. And my mother, uh, told my brother to go and beg for food. She said before Christmas people get into themselves. This, she said it in Hungarian. And you should go and tell people that we are here. That your sister has outgrown her shoes and cannot get off the bed. And in general, beg. Dury, my brother, said he did not want to go begging. He'd rather steal. Finally my mother and Dr. Wilhelm, a family friend, convinced Dury to go. He came back with a pair of shoes. And my shoes went to the youngest child of a woman who, who was in the lager with her eight children. They all survived, but her husband never came back." Um, Dury told the story that he, he went to this, this farmhouse in the outskirts of, uh, Deutsch Wagram. There was a woman there with her children. And she asked him, um, who was there with you? And he told her. And she sent a pair of shoes for me and she told him to come back a couple of days later and knitted some wool socks for me and sent some other things. Food, I think, and some other items of clothing. After liberation I walked back in those shoes. This was, ah, Austrian Gentile woman. There were people like that too. Okay. What else? I need a little help now. Uh, here I wrote much more about, uh, um, about the details, about life in the camp and little, different anecdotes. My mother told the story about, uh, that there was a Passover Seder in camp. How on earth? She said they even had parsley! Like, where did they get that?! Or matza, you know, like unbelievable. I said, I asked her when I interviewed her, I said, "Where did they get these things?" I'm looking for a tissue--and she said, "I had no idea, I never figured that out." But she said, "I still remember," she was telling me "how we were lying on the shelves and there was one person conducting the Seder." Can you imagine? There was one...


I'm sorry.

...you slept in the barracks with shelves, like in Theresienstadt?

Yes, yes.

You remember that?

I did not remember. But I remembered reacting in Theresienstadt. It was like, oh my God, you know. So, um, I think that's what it was.

And had you heard anything about your father?

No. Nothing.

Did you talk?

Until liberation. That came much later.

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