Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Charlotte Firestone - March 11, 1982


How did you find out--how did the, how did the Jews in Munkacs get the instructions to move?

The Germans came, picked them up and they dropped them off there.

They just picked them up.


Um, how did they know where to go? How did they get names of people or addresses of Jews in the city? Did you hear?

Well, they, they evidently, I don't know, in Munkacs there was a man by the name of Zagelstein and they called him a traitor, because first was a Doctor Peter. They called him up and they wanted to know the Jewish situation, who was rich and who was poor and who lives there and where they live and he didn't want to say and they beat him to death. We knew that, because when he was dead, they get him out, you know, to bury him. He was all beaten up. Then was a man by the name of Zagelstein. He had a textile uh, yard goods store. It was very rare.


Zagelstein. Zagelstein.


They called him up and they told him that his family is going to be safe if he gives the names and he did. There was always somebody who, you know...

Did he belong to the Kehilla?


So he became part of the Judenrat.

He really was despised by every Jew.

Were other members of the Judenrat also disliked by the Jews?

No. He was the only one who gave out all --we didn't know it was first, you know, big secret, but then later on, they find out.

So he gave the names.

He gave the names. Then, you know, even non-Jewish people, even the Christian knew where the Jews live and where they don't live, you know, but to be more specific, he was the one who--everybody, you know, it was a, a city that was thirty-two--or thirty-four thousand population, so everybody knew, you know...

Did you know most of them?

...most of them...

The Jews you mean?


Thirty-two thousand Jews?

No, no, no, no. The whole city was thirty-four thousand, thirty-three, thirty-four thousand people.

And, how many Jew do you think?

At least half of it.

What happened to him and his family, do you know?

What, the Zagelsteins?

The Zagelsteins.

I heard that the family was saved. That he got some papers and he went to a different city, you know, where he was known and that's where they lived. I'm not sure. I never seen them since that time, so I don't know about it.

Um, did the Germans ask for workers from the Judenrat? Did they say we need so many people to work, or...

They didn't need any workers and I don't remember.

And the Hungarians didn't either.

No, but, you know [pause] when the Hungarians came in, it was 1938. In 1942, they took all the Jewish men, young men, they used to go--they used build the bunkers, you know, to, to dig, you know what was bunkers and that's, that's when the boys went away, in forty-two. That's when they started to take already--the, the Jewish.

Did they come back?

No. My husband never came back, because they would have been the front, working there and then they were captured by the Russians.

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