Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Salvatore and Lili Katan - August 18, 1981

Receiving Help from a Jewish Organization

SK: ...so it was a woman or a man...

LK: From Poland.

SK: From Poland

LK: Romania ???

SK: Romania to the--near the first stop, not too far, there's a Jewish organization there. Maybe they could help you. So we went there and the train stopped, I jumped there--Jewish organization was probably around six, seven blocks from the station and I went there and I asked them...

LK: He told the story.

SK: I told them the story, "Do you think you could help me because I'm Jewish and now they're going to leave me here. They're going to drop me if I don't give the money." And they say, "Well, I'll tell you, we're going to give you the money, okay? How much uh, how much ???"

LK: I cannot remember ???

SK: If I remember, 100 rubles I told him, not expecting that much so I went to the president from the Jewish Organization of Romania and I ask him, says, "What you going to do for us?" They give me...

LK: But we need it fast.

SK: Yeah, fast. ??? otherwise--say, "We're going to give you it but we going to give you a little extra because maybe in the other station they're going to ask you for more money or they're going to stop you again and ask for more and you're going to say you don't know and they're going to start sending you left and right." Say, "We'll give you the money and we're going to give you a letter because soon they're going to bring you to Budapest, and they going to give you money right in the station," ??? but they give it to me. And sure enough, soon as we come to Budapest I show them the letter and they believe it. Soon as we come in Budapest, the train stops, give them the money and, uh...

LK: But then they ask more money right there at the station.

SK: Yeah, they ask more money. I say, "No, that's all what they give you, what you are asking, that's all what they give you and I don't have no more."

LK: Now that was--well wait a second, I said, "You gave him when we came close to Budapest. Then he came back that he want more money." So then I told to the lady ??? but I didn't even know that, I just made up a story because I didn't know if I had anybody left from my family, okay? But I told to the lady ??? that I have this fellow who's waiting for me at the station and I am sure that I could have my share back and I could give you some money, okay? And what happened is that we arrived, the only one uncle whom I had left in my whole family, okay, he was waiting everyday for me ??? was nothing. And--but my brother-in-law who was born and raised in Budapest he knew already the Greeks there, okay? So he jumped down with my husband before the train stopped, and I went with the train with the group. So my uncle was waiting and as we went down and the Russian was right behind us and he asked me in Hungarian, "Do you need any money?" And I said, "Uncle, do me a favor, get lost." I talk to him, "Just get lost." So he gets lost and the Russian came and said, "Do you have any money?" and I said, "I'm sorry, but I don't see no relatives here. Maybe I don't have anymore. I don't know." I thought that I had--I hear some news that I have some relatives," so he couldn't do nothing with me anymore, okay, because we are in Budapest.

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