Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Paul Molnar - July 24, 2002

Conditions in Magdeburg III

We can go for awhile.

Uh, anyhow I was in Magdeburg, and while I was in Magdeburg uh, there was an attempt on Hitler's life.


Yes late July. And uh, suddenly these horrible guards were a few ??? were very kind and very nice to us and uh, they treated us like we were human being. I'm not saying they let us go, but instead of screaming and yelling to us they talked to us in a normal tone. Said, we'll have to leave now. You gotta do this now, you gotta do that now. It only lasted over night.

Do you think they were afraid that?

They really thought that that was the end because you see, they didn't know. They thought that that's the end of Nazi Germany. But then Hitler got on the radio and by next day everything was back to normal. So I went about my work and I was maybe young and all the terrible things happening around me, it didn't affect me as much as, as the older people who were much, it was much more difficult for 'em to carry on. Uh, I went about my business, I did my work and I, I knew like everybody else knew that the Germans are going to lose and all we have to do is uh, outlast them. I figured, well, we had this attempt on Hitler's life, they're going to try again and maybe, maybe in a months or so it'll be all over. But then in September something happened to me that changed again my life. What happened to me one day I was working at the factory and that day we were unloading cement bags from a truck, carrying them aw...always and dropping them in a ditch, opening 'em up, dropping 'em. And they were making concrete, there was a concrete mixture there and they're going to mix 'em all up. And I was carrying one of these bags and I don't know to this day, I either tripped or I was do...daydreaming or I was getting weak. It could be any one of those. I dropped the bag and the bag opened up and immediately the guards, two of 'em came over, German guards and they beat the daylights out of me. Yelling at me, saboteur, saboteur, just beat me and beat me. First of all I was no saboteur, 'cause it wouldn't have made any different to the war effort. And I covered my head and uh, I was in a lot of pain but, I was, you know, I managed through even that. And then they let one of their dogs, the German dogs loose on me, and he chewed up my right calf and that was really bad because not only that I was bleeding, but I couldn't get up, I couldn't move. So a lot of times when they did things like that, when they were all done with you, they just take a revolver and shoot you. Uh, but in my case, for whatever reason, they thought it was really hilarious and they started laughing and they walked away from me and I laid there on the ground. Well, my cousin and another boy from Rákospalota grabbed me and they moved me over to a side and they moved to an area that was next to a lot of lumber and it was shady and they put me down there. And that was probably the most difficult afternoon I ever spent in camps, because I knew that you had to make it back to the camp, because if you don't make it back to the camp, you will be shot and carried back. Well, there was no way that I could walk. There was no way. I couldn't, I couldn't stand up because my right leg, because it was totally useless to me. And this was after lunch sometime so I knew it was in the afternoon and I knew by six o'clock something's going to happen. I mean, I can't.Well, when they told everybody get going, ready to leave, my cousin and another boy, this other boy, they grabbed me and we got into the middle of the pack and I put my arms around their shoulders and I could hobble on my left leg and they literally carried me four miles. They carried me back and we got through the gate into the camp. I wasn't caught, they didn't catch it. I stood, I stood through all the Appell, which was the daily counting. They, again they didn't catch us And uh, so I survived it. But I had to face tomorrow 'cause there is no way that I could go to work. There was, I, I couldn't walk. So there was an area in the camp where they put people who, who were unable to work for many reasons. One because they flipped out mentally or they were too sick, they were what you called Musulmanns, they just gave up or they had diarrhea.

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