Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Noemi Engel Ebenstein - July 22, 1996

Conscription of Father

But he was taken by whom?

Uh, by the Hungarians.

To Russia?

Uh, to the, at first, yes. To the Hungarian, you know, their, later on to Russia, to the front, to the, uh, to battle. Um...

Did he fight the Russians or was he with the labor gang? Do you know?

He was in labor troops.

So he was captured?

Captured by the Russians in, um, as, as part of the labor troops.

Let's follow it. Do you know what happened to him there?

Um, that's, um, he's--let me just look for one minute here. Um, okay this was after he was, I don't, I cannot find it. Yeah, he was taken, um, to the labor troops and, um, after he was taken to the labor troops, my mother went back to Hungary. She decided what is the, what's she going to do in Subotica. After all, her mother and her brothers, and I think by then she had her son with her, but she wanted to go back home after my father was taken away. Oh yes, I have this. Um, this is actually where it starts, where I transcribed the, uh, the tape: "In 1942 they were gathering all the Jewish men from labor troops. They took them first, uh, at least the one unit that my father was in, to the Romanian border. Uh, my father was taken away between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, uh, in 1942." That means that I was, yeah, she always said I was like a year old when he was taken away. Um, she said that she went to say goodbye to him in Kosice. Kosice, which later on became Czechoslovakia. Um, in the interview with my mother she said that already then she was convinced that he would come back. Um, she related the story about the conversation that she had with a woman whom she knew from Subotica. This woman was saying that she was very scared and had a bad feeling, a foreboding feeling. And my mother said that she told this woman that was convinced that he would survive and that she would survive. This woman's husband never came back. Um, anyway, after my father was taken away we went back to Budapest. So it was 1942. I was a year old, a little over a year old. We went back to Budapest. We joined my maternal grandmother. And we lived there and my mother said that at that time we lived a fairly normal life, you know. We even took a vacation near Budapest in, you know, the following summer.

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