Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Munkacs Ghetto

Everybody was indoors in, in, in, in uh, apartments.

Apartments, but we have uh, we had backyards and you know, we can--could got out. But the whole area was sealed. Okay, the whole big area, many street.

Sealed with what? Barbed wire with...

No, not wire, just, just fence or something like that, fence. But you could, if somebody wanted to get out...

They could.

...you could. But they had to have--and some--and people did, people did. I know that especially younger people did. They managed to get some Hungarian uh, Gentile documents and they fled to Budapest. And some of them they survived. But not too many. S...some Gentiles weren't very nice. I know that one of our previous neighbor uh, a German lady, I remember. Her husband was Jewish, but her husband I think was taken to the uh, labor camp in ???. And she sometimes brought us some food through the, through the fence uh, we could get out, for instance.

This is a Volksdeutsch.

Yeah, but she, she lived in our area many, many years. And, and uh, so that was until mid-May. In mid-May one morning--we didn't know anything. Somebody told that they, they heard that maybe they will take 'em out, but nobody wanted to believe. Well morning rush, the police came in, lot of police--loud and then they give us half an hour, less than half an hour, pack our bags. And they, they took out us and we marched approximately two kilometers or three kilometers to the outskirt of the city, where the brick factory was. And the brick factory have all this railway, railway, uh...

These are gendarmes that took you.

Gendarmes and police--most police.

Hungarian police.

Hungarian police. Very few Germans, very few. And they were cruel. I remember, they didn't beat me up, but I remember they beat my, my mother. Because--and was, I, I remember it very good they shouted uh, uh, "Faster, faster" something like that very rudely and beat her. I remember that one, I remember, because you know, because they, they couldn't move as fast as they wanted. And they were old people and children and, and--that was the first terrible shock, the-- from the ghetto to the brick factory. And the brick factory we stayed there several days with terrible uh, anti-sanitary uh, conditions and, but that was...

They beat your mother.

Yes. Not...

And you saw it.

I saw it. I remember that.

And what did you think? Do?

What can I do? No, they hit. They didn't beat up. Just hit.

They hit her.

And then we went. They tried to faster. They beat not only mother, they beat what--whoever, you know. One of them, they stand and they beat you know, whoever was there, you know. They, the Hungarian police. There were very few uh, Germans there, very few Germans. The Hungarian did it you know, the Hungarian did it. You know what and they told us later on and I read. They changed most of the police. They were not those policemen which used to uh, be...because we had with the police more or less uh, cordial uh, connections with them.

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