Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Noemi Engel Ebenstein - July 22, 1996

Return of Father

So he came in back from fighting the Germans?


Had you been born yet?


She was still pregnant?

Yeah, she was still, this was just. After she fled, this was maybe a week or two weeks after she fled Belgrade.

So it's April, May?

Yes. So what happened was that now the Germans came into Subotica. No, the Hungarians. Excuse me. The Hungarians occupied Subotica. So my parents went to Subotica and rented an apartment and my mother was a Hungarian citizen. Um, so they signed up even for, uh, to the hospital where I was supposed to be born, which was actually a Jewish place, a Jewish hospital. My mother tells the story--there are too many stories--told the story that, uh, when she went there to sign up then the clerk, and she took a little, um, like a mother's helper or housekeeper, a young Gentile girl with her, and the clerk started, said to my mother--I don't know whether it was, I think it was the same incident--he said, "Why are you signing up to deliver a Jewish child into this world? Don't you know that we are going to finish all of you?" And to the girl he started yelling at her and cursing her and saying, "Aren't you ashamed of yourself? You are a Christian girl and you are working for these dirty, stinking Jews." Um, so that's how I was being welcomed even before I was born, um...

Were you born in that hospital?

Yes, yes. And we both almost died. It was a very long and difficult labor. But as I told you, she's stubborn. And, uh, I was born and we both survived and afterwards they, I don't know when my brother joined us and I don't remember, I think in my notes I have when my father was taken away to labor troops. But I don't know where it is and I, I don't want to look for that.

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