Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Salvatore and Lili Katan - August 18, 1981

Returning to Hungary Together

SK: Sure enough, next day I help them to take the schmatas. Schmatas, you know what. I help them in the station and I say goodbye and I come back. The train supposed to leave six o'clock in the evening. For some reason it was there six o'clock and I was there waiting to go. So I went in the block myself back in the camp and I have my schmatas with my friend, name of ???, lives in Italy, near the border. And I told him, "You know what? I'm going to run away." He said, "What are you do? Why you are crazy?" I say, "Well, I'm going to run away," I say, "because what I'm going to do here. Maybe we're not to go no more home." I say, "I'm going to run with her." I says--say, "Pick up your stuff, give my stuff, I--even this stuff here ???." So I went in the station, the train's still there and it started getting dark. So I look left and right, the guards they are watching left and right. Soon I saw they're not watching me my side. I went under the boxcars and I crawled, like say, thirty-six boxcars, from thirty-six boxcars I crawled out underneath. And one girlfriend of hers saw me and she says to her, "Lili, Lili." "What?" "I see Sal." "Where, where?" "There, I see Sal." So...

You still couldn't talk to each other?

SK: No, no. So now they are looking for me, but they don't know who I am, I'm disappeared. And I was crawling and soon I come near the boxcar she was dying. And I said, "Lili, Lili, don't be afraid, it's me. Stay there, stay there." She runs away, she calls the sister, the cousins and says, "Watch it, Sal is underneath the boxcar, watch if the guards they're not watching, we pick him up, we bring him in." So, soon, soon the guards weren't watching their side, I come out and I went in, in the boxcar and they put me in the corner and they put me all the rags on top of my head, they covered me up and we are waiting the train we should start going. The train don't move. Around five o'clock--it stayed there the train all night long.

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