Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Karp - September 14, 1995

Interaction with Non-Jews after the War

When you were living, stayed in Hungary after the war, did you have any interaction with non-Jews, other Hungarians?


Anyone angry?

Yeah, yeah, No, at that time everybody was your friend. There were some selective people, you know, it's who, who even though they may have not openly spoken against or they weren't able to do anything, physically, but deep down probably everybody was uh, everybody was agreeing what was taking place. There may have been, you know, with due respect, there may have been some people who felt it's not right, I wouldn't do it. And, they couldn't do anything of helping to prevent it because, you know. So, once, uh, once we got back to Hungary in '45, you know with the population, it's Hungarian, non-Jews, but primarily, it was very few Jews came back. Inasmuch as some words were spread, some--that there were more Jews come back that had left, you know. So, you know, you picked up the pieces and you couldn't hold everybody responsible. So, if you wanted to be part of the daily life, you know, you certainly did have contacts with Gentiles. Some were persecuted who openly and deliberately, you know, did some things wrong. And then came the other phase of Hungarian, uh, history. It was in, I think it was in '47 or '48, when the election was, and the Communist Party took over.

Béla Kun?

No, Béla Kun was in 1918.

That was in World War I?

That was in World War I. It was Rákosi.

What was your father's and yours reaction to Rákosi? Were you supporters of him?

No, no. We weren't supporters for him, no. I probably would have to tell you that during the war I would have been a supporter for anybody who was against the Germans. Because, I am sure that you have heard that saying, it's, uh, "I'd rather be red, than dead." This was the saying. But, during the war there wasn't anything, this is a very interesting subject with the Jews in Hungary. For that matter, it may have been some other place too. Because, during German occupation and during the 20's, 30's and early 40's, all Jews were labeled as Communists. And they were persecuted. They were, uh, they were convicted. They were dragged through the mud because they were considered Communists. And the Communists took over, most of the Jews were considered as capitalists. So, from one angle, you fell into the other one.

So, you decided to leave?


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