Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emerich Grinbaum - October 3, 2000 & January 8, 2001


Was he in the War? Was he in the First World War?


Your father?

Sure. He was fighting.

He was in the Haps...Hapsburg Army?

Yeah, right, right. He was in the war. He was in the war.

Where did, do you know, was he discharged with an honorable discharge?

He had a lot of medals.

He did, so he was decorated.

Oh, a lot of medals! You know, he always ??? but it didn't help him.

Didn't help.

Of the medals. And I remember there was another Jew uh, have forgot his name, I see his face. He had the highest medal of Hungary, highest. The, the, the, the uh, Golden Cross, something like that, I, I don't, don't know, the highest, highest. So those people, temporarily, they got some uh, some exemption from the Jewish, a...against the Jewish laws. But it was temporary. But when they, they took--in '44 they put us in a ghetto and these people, those who have uh, not my father, who had this one--they were treated much worse.

Worse than the others.

Much worse. Like you know, in The Sunshine you saw that he wanted to prove..


...that he...

Yeah, he was a...

...Olympic, you know.

Didn't matter.

No. Even worse. You know, even worse with the rabbis, if you. It's interesting. Uh, when we came, when we arrived to--from the ghetto to the brick factories you know, they, they gathered for a couple of days, we were ghetto. Then from the ghettos, brick factory--and from brick factory was about three, four days and they took us and put on the train. So in the brick factories they were shouting--the Hungarian police and gen...the gendarmes--they were very few Germans--they all-- the dirty work they did the Hungarians. And he says, "Rabbis, rabbis. Come, come out!" Okay. And stupid Jews, they thought--not the rabbis, rabbis were smart enough. But somebody else. They, they, they might have better treatment. And they showed, you know. And all the rabbis they, they, they killed them uh, immediately. And they, that they, in the brick factories. I know that they beat them up and most of them killed. One of my teacher, he was...

They beat them.

Beat them. I, I heard later the whole story because I--at that time you, when they took away and they beat, didn't beat them in front of us. He was a so-called Dr. Rabina. He was a, a very educated--he had uh, rabbinical uh, but he didn't work A lot of, he tea...taught us Hebrew language and, and Tanách and the Bible. And he, he was smart enough not to show that he, he has some rabbinic uh, uh, background. But somebody pointed out and they took him in and I know that they told me that they beat him to death. That, in Munkacs in the brick factory.

In the brick factory. They didn't shoot him, they, they beat, they beat him to death.

Pardon me?

They didn't shoot him, they beat him to death.

They all beat them. There, there was the gendarmes, the Hungarian there. Maybe they shoot them, we don't know. But mostly they beat them.

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