Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helen Lang - February 23, 1982

Germans Enter Munkacs

Uh, when you--when the Germans came in...


...you were in Munkacs...


...you came back from Budapest...

Budapest, that's right.

...uh, you said something interesting. You said that you came back to celebrate Easter...

That's right.

...was that just a holiday?

A--our holiday, Pesach.

Was it Pesach? Okay.



That's why we--that why I came home.

For Pesach.

For Pesach.


If I would have remained in Budapest, I wouldn't have been in concentration camp. I would do something to live like a non-Jews. There you could do it--hide there. But here I came home, and I wanted to be with the family. You know, we were a very close family, you know. And we were, you know, my mother wanted me to be home. You know, it was a big thing--a holiday--Easter holiday so she wanted to that I come home. And naturally I wouldn't want it otherwise. So I came home.

But they gave you five minutes to get ready.


Did they tell you take, take anything?

You take in five minutes whatever you want. They said it in German. And they standing like this.

With guns.

With guns. Can you imagine helpless people with a baby--my sister had a little baby--eighteen month old baby.

What happened to the baby?

What happened to the baby--then I'll tell you another story. So five minutes we had to get ready. So naturally, what did we take for the baby--the clothes and for the baby my mother had prepared cookies and sardines, things like that. Just the baby should have it, you know. And that's how we fled. And I took some clothes for myself--a couple dresses or something. Everybody took something and the mainly for the baby, naturally because the first grandchild in our family, you know. So you can imagine how my parents felt about that baby--it was everything, it was her life. You know, so we went and then they took us out like this. We went out, you know, like, like gangsters. They were uh, and we went to the truck. And then they took us to the, to the train.

To the Umschlagplatz.

And then they told us we should take off all the jewelry. I had a little ring, you know. My brother was a jeweler at that time and when he got engaged--so he give me a little ring too, you know. And he gave me a little watch. So that--we had to throw everything down by the train. All the jewelry we got there. And my father couldn't move so fast and there was a Hungarian start to beat up my father because he didn't move. And we had to just go and see it. We couldn't do anything, because my father didn't move as fast as he should. So then we went into the train.

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