Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Helen Lang - February 23, 1982

Going to Budapest to Work

Did your father still have his pension?

It took a long time 'til he got his pension too. So we had it very tough.


Five children to feed, I don't have to tell you. It was very tough. That's why...

Now how old were the children?

...that's why I went to Budapest. I was a young girl, and I went to work. I worked in Budapest.

I see.

You see? And my brother--my other brother who lives in Los Angeles he went there too--he was there too. And plus, my brother was--one of them was in the--already in the, in the front some place in the Russian. We didn't know, you know, where he is. My sister with the baby stayed with us, because she didn't know where her husband is. And I...

When was this--these...

That was already in 19...around '40, '40, '41.

Forty-one--if he was in Russia it would be '41, yeah.

Pardon? Yeah, they were

If he was in Russia it would be '41.

Yeah, that was already in Russia.

Do you have, did you have relatives in Budapest that you went to stay with or...



...I just went by myself.

And you had a job there.

I looked for a job. I was reluctant to go, believe me, it was very tough. And I went into a store--no, my sister gave me an address. She had a girlfriend there. And that girlfriend--we went to a store something to buy, and--because I told her I would like to get a job or something. And we went to a store something like this for selling threads or materials, something. And this friend asked the owner, "Do you have, maybe you know somebody who needs a girl for a job? Anything?" So there was the man, he says, "Well you know how to sew a machine?" I says, "I know how to sew a machine." I didn't know.


Especially a electric machine--I never had that. And I said, "Yes." So he says, "Okay, come tomorrow night." That's how I start to work there on a machine. I didn't know how to do it. I was so slow, you know, I was young. But he was--he wasn't Jewish. So he tried and tried and then he says, "Ah," he says--he, he, you know. He figured that I am not good enough. So I went someplace else, I found another job and I was stayed there.

Also as a seam...

As a piece worker. Then, here already I, I learned how to sew on the sewing machine--on the electric one. So it was already easier for me to go tell him that, "Yes, I know how to," you know, I felt better that uh, and that's how I, I was a piece worker then, making dresses.

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