Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Paul Molnar - July 24, 2002


Hebrew Int...International Aid Society.

You know, that helped people, they already had an office at the train station. And the way we went to Prague was we were on a Russian troop train because you could not uh, there was no transportation of any kind. The Americans came in next day, Patton's troops, I saw 'em in Pilsen and liberated. But they didn't stay, they left because it was a Russian zone. So we went to Prague. And HIAS gave us some money to travel but. And then from Prague I could get another Russian troop train and I crossed into Hungary to a pontoon bridge because all the bridges were blown up by, by the Germans across the Danube, there were no bridges. And the Hungarian side which has been uh, liberated a few months earlier already, they were already in a regular train, so I took a train back to Budapest. I had money I got from HIAS. And I went to our house, there's nobody there. And I went to the neighbor lady, who-whom I knew, used to be nice when I was a child. And I asked her does she know what happened. She said, well your father lives here, which made me feel very good. But she said that, I only know about your father. So I waited for my father and my father came home from the work and we were both very happy to see each other, but he was hoping to hear from me what happened to everybody else and I was hoping from him. Well, I knew nothing and certainly he knew nothing. So I was the only one out of all this who actually-of the people on the train who came back. My uncle and my father, who were not taken, they both survived. My father escaped a few months later. He escaped when uh, the Arrow Cross took over because then they started killing the uh, forced laborers in the Hungarian Army. And they were not safe anymore, so he escaped. And my uncle did likewise. And my mother had a sister who was married to a Gentile man in Budapest. So that was my father's sister-in-law, so they hid him until December when the Russians liberated. And my father was, went back to work, he was a mechanical engineer. And uh, he went to work in a factory, he was already working as an engineer, which he never did. From 1920 he never worked as an engineer. And I stayed in Hungary for two more years. I went back to school. I was put a year behind because I missed one full year. And I had a very difficult time because you know, most of my kids my age they were all dead. There were a few girls. I didn't know any boy who came back. Just I did. There were a few girls. There were maybe four or five girls who came back.

Your cousin Otto?

Oh, he died. What happened I guess-the story I have is that he did all right, but then his father who had-my uncle had false teeth and I guess he broke his teeth and he couldn't even eat the bread anymore and he just died. And from what people told me was who did come back, who survived from Magdeburg, that my- after his father died, which was about October, a few weeks later he died. He just gave up, he didn't want to live anymore, which is very, very sad. So he never came back. And I stayed in, in Rákospalota. I went back to my school, to my gymnasium. And I was in a lot of trouble because I was very belligerent and I, I spoke up all the time and I got-I was suspended and kicked out and all this 'cause. Now, the worst Nazis and fascists-the teachers who were really bad, now they were the biggest communists. And they didn't want to hear from me. So I was fortunate enough that my father had a brother and sister in Detroit, United States, my uncle lived in New York at the time. And he wrote to them. And uh, took him a couple years to get the paperwork through, it takes a long time. And finally they were able to get me a student visa. And uh, I moved to New York and uh, I had to go to a private school because I didn't speak any English. I really had enough credits, but didn't have the English. So I went there for a year, and then I.

Where in New York?

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