Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Paul Molnar - July 24, 2002

Anti-Jewish Laws

Who that you know went into that?

Beg your pardon?

Anyone that you knew, you know.

Oh yeah, many people. Most of them did,

Your father?

my father did not go in. Uh, my father was exempt, because he was already older. Uh, and uh, most of the people uh, who uh, who were taken to Russia and Ukraine, never came back. But a number of them came back in 1943, because as the Russians were uh, winning the war, the Hungarians were retreating. So when the Hungarian Army was retreating, coming back, so were these forced laborers. And uh, I'm sure they had horrible stories about what's happening to the Jews there 'cause they saw it. But they never talked in front of me. I didn't know it. I was a child. I was thirteen years old. They wouldn't talk in front of me. But you know, in retrospect I realized why they didn't talk, they never talked about their experiences. But I would say, maybe twenty-five percent came back. And they resumed their lives.

At that point it was 1943.


so it was obviously drastically changed already.

It did.

because of laws.

There were many laws. But, as I said, you cannot compare it what people-went on in the other countries. Uh, we could live wherever we wanted to, we didn't wear any yellow stars. I went to school everyday. Uh, my father went to work everyday. My mother went shopping. I mean, we had-we realized that economically Jews are restricted uh, uh, but still they were in the theaters. They had uh, actors and actresses who were Jews. Uh, many books written by Jewish authors, they were all published. Uh, there was still uh, teaching at universities, except their numbers were restricted.

And you still had non-Jewish friends.

Oh yes. I had all, I went to play with them, we played soccer. You know, we went, we had a particularly-for me it was, I, I didn't know there was any problems. My father-my parents, the adults knew they had problems. But relatively speaking, no. We met, we met a lot of refugees who were from Jewish people, from Poland for example. And they would come to our door and beg. And I didn't understand it. I would say to my father or mother uh, why don't these people go to work? Well, I didn't understand they were there illegally. They were hiding there and nobody hire them. They didn't have an opportunity, they had to be fed. So they go to a Jewish homes to beg.

Do you remember Szálasi, Szálasi?

Oh yeah, he was the head the Arrow Cross.

Arrow Cross, and then became Prime Minister.

Well, you see, I was not there. When they took over I was gone already.

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