Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Knowledge of Massacres

Did anybody think that this was going to be some sort of genocide? Did anybody even think in those terms?

You know what, everybody was--tried to hide the face and the head in the sa...sand, most of the people. We heard about, about atrocities. We didn't know the whole, whole extent of the, of the, of the atrocities. We knew that they--in Poland--we saw refugees from Poland uh, in '39 and they came, but at that time there was no mass, uh...


...at that time. A lot of Pol...Poli...refugees, not only Jews uh, Christians also came through our co...a matter of fact, in, in, in Hungary the Polish refugees including the Jews if you can read, a lot of Jews they were, they were treated well by the Hungarians in the beginning. The only--the Polish you know, because they're...

The refugees.

...refugees. They were uh, Hungarian, the Hungarian were very sympathetic to the Polish cause, despite that they were on the uh, side of the Germans. But the Polish cause what--so the Polish refugees they were treated. If, I, I read some book lately uh, lately that ??? which is not the case, you know that they salvaged the Belz, Belz Rebbe. You know the story. The Hungarian, in the, in, in--the government of Kállay, that was in '41--'42, they sent a group of Hungarian uh, people, diplomats and whoever. Oh that's a interesting story if I, I, if you can find it. And he was in the, one of the uh, ghettos. I don't--the Belze Rebbe, the ???. And they managed to smuggle out, they managed to--I, I read a, a book about this. Uh, and managed to smuggle out to Budapest, the Belze Rebbe.

And where did--did he wind up in Palestine?

I, I know. You know how? Because--did you hear about Kasztner? Now the Kasztner and all this uh, people, they managed to ma...make a deal with the Germans. And the couple of thousand Jews they put through Switzerland uh, and they, they survived. Among them there was the Belze Rebbe. [interruption in interview]

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