Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Anne Eisenberg - May 11, 1982

Relations with Non-Jews

Oh that's what happened? Okay, I didn't know. I was asked to ask that. How did your gentile neighbors react to and treat you when this was going on?

Well, I could make a comment on that, because we had one neighbor especially that was so close to the family. If an egg wasn't kosher we took it to her, if a chicken wasn't kosher we took it to her. Uh, she had a pig, whatever was left over, we took it for the pig. It was, I mean, we made her pig fat more than anything else. And if a baby was born in our family, she was a seamstress and she came running right away and she was sewing and--I mean, we thought that it's our neighbor, my goodness. And the first time that my mother had to have a paper signed, well to whom do you go but to your best neighbor. And her first respond was whoever takes the side of a Jew fails its country and she would not sign the paper. And that was the first slap in my mother's face that she realized that there was no love towards a Jew whatsoever. Means a child and I--the--my neighbor across the street. I mean, I knew her as, as our neighbor and she became my Hungarian schoolteacher and I called her by her name. Naturally as, you don't say out just the first name or the last name, but in Hungarian you say nana, like a aunt. And she say, don't call me that, I'm not your nana or anything. I am your schoolteacher. And with such roughness that she actually shut me that uh, and she showed more that who she is then uh, there was no love, like I say, for the Jew. Then, I had a little cousin who was so smart. And because she was a Jew they gave her the worst mark that could happen. And they told her quite right out that because she's a Jew she can't be accepted as a smart kid.

You were still allowed in school though?

Well, for three years we were going to Hungarian school.

What were the changes in your daily routine, in your school, your job--well, you didn't have a job, but at home--in your religious activities? That kind of thing.

Well, we was--we were forced to go Saturdays to school. I remember once a kid wanted to be smart and like I say, everybody was religious. And the neighbor then took a piece of pork, he rubbed it to the kid's mouth just to show the hate. And uh, the beatings were going on, the name callings were taking place. I remember one day my father and his friend went downtown and a Hungarian soldier was going by. And my father says to the, to the man, in Jewish that "See you can't even walk on the sidewalk anymore." And they walked--went around and they stepped off the sidewalk. And all of the sudden he grabbed my father and the man, and they put 'em in jail. And he put ??? already and he said that is for that, the Hungarian army. But uh, like I say, my sister knew--went to the highest man and that she somehow got him out that evening.

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