Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Karp - June 22, 1983

Life Under German Occupation

What kind of changes began to take place? You say things got worse and worse in your small town.

We finally start seeing--1943--Jews have been excluded from many, many things. They brought in Hungary what it was called the uh, they called it a Jewish Law and--to translate it word for word--and under this law there were so many exclusions, so many restrictions on Jews that we just know the waste on those laws, you know, it cannot get better. If anything, it can only get worse. But it was uh, that you couldn't, you couldn't attend to school. Or at that time they were rationing the food, and you were not able to get ration because you were a Jew. You may--you were not able to travel in other areas because you were a Jew and then now--many, many incidents because you were a Jew, it did happen. As far as bodily harms other than for a few on certain terms--on certain happenings you did not experience, really, to the time the Germans occupied Hungary. But it was the time to spring of 1944 at that point it went really rapidly, everything. They came into Hungary March 19th of 1944. And in between that three months period, other than in Budapest--but it wasn't ??? what is the capitol city of Hungary--everybody was put into ghettos in various different areas. And, of course, the transportation from that point on to Germany took place between month of April, May through the end of June, July.

How were you immediately affected once the Germans occupied Hungary? Were you able to continue working and supporting your family?

Well, in a very limited way. Immediately when the Germans came in we had to wear the yellow stars. We came under curfew. There were only certain times we were ab...able to be outside. Naturally, in the evening you have to be inside and uh, we have--once we left our town we have to report what--where we are going. And it went, again, with such speed, as I said before, that for the first one, two or three weeks after the Germans occupied and we have to--the order came out, we have to wear the yellow stars. We didn't even go out anymore, you know? And naturally the work--what I was doing for instance, it consisted of going into other towns also, and I stopped doing that. And shortly after--it was only after several weeks uh, am I correct? We went to the ghetto shortly after Passover. We went to the, to the city where we used to live at one time, Kisv&accute;rda, and into the ghetto.

When the Germans occupied your small town um, what facilities did they use?

Um, there weren't really too many Germans in that town because it was relatively a very, very small town. There may have been a few, you know, half a dozen from higher ups, but basically they have turned over all the orders and, all the carry-out orders to the Hungarians, who, if not as bad, they may have been worse yet.

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