Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ilya Martha Kessler - November 1, 1982

German Occupation III

When the Germans came into your town, was there a difference in the laws--excuse me--a difference in the laws um, as regarded the Jews? Did you have to wear armbands or any identification?

Oh yeah.

When did that happen?

See, I, I talk so much, I... We had the yellow star. Sure, we had ??? So, when I was... I went to school in the city. So, they closed the city because they did it for the German, I mean, they close the school, they give it to the German soldier to sleep there, to be there. So, and anyway, the Jews couldn't go anymore to school. So, they ga... And Jews couldn't go out from the city. So, beca... And you had to put the yellow star there. So, my mother want me to go home and my aunt want to send because uh, she didn't want to uh, have a, you know, responsibility. So, they gave me like the, the goy band like um, they had a special, a special dress to go. There is a holiday. So, from the school I had a same thing. So, my aunt dressed me up and made me like a little uh, shiksa yeah, and put me on the uh, train. And there was--excuse me--and there was a, some relative who went home from, from the city, and she looked like a little Jewish. So uh, my aunt gave the lady, to the relative money, because I was a little girl. And she said to me, "Don't sit with Rose. Sit with the other place and then when you get there or you need the money you ask Rose." So, that's what happened. She sit back of me and then we went and in the middle of the way they stopped the train and they said, "Who is Jewish?" The German. So, nobody said nothing. So, they looked at and they see who is Jew. So, they took this lady--relative--and they took to the uh, Auschwitz already. And I was sitting there and I said myself, my God, I am Jewish too. For myself when they going to take me. So, near me was a lady and a man older. They said, "Don't say anything. I gonna say you are daughter." I never saw them before, not after. So, I was sitting with them until I get almost home. They went someplace else. So, I stayed there and a young uh, Hungarian soldier came up--I was already fifteen year old, from the place where I was born, almost--so, a young guy came to me and said to me, you know, started little girl he was a young uh, soldier, eighteen or twenty and I was almost uh, thirteen and a half or so, I think, from a school dressed up like. He said, "Where you live?" So, I said. And he asked me, "Who's your father there?" So, I was so stupid, I couldn't say a goy. I said uh, I said, "Abraham Klein." Right away he run from me away this guy. I said, my God, they come to take me to... Just the train start uh, start to go. I, I never saw this soldier and took me home. And my mother always waited for me, look at when... which train I am in coming. So, we were staying outside and waiting for all day long if I get home or not. So, it was very happy I get home. So uh, this was Pass... at Passover and we was uh, together at Passover. So, at least ???

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