Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Roth - March 28, 1982

Life Under Hungarians

What happened to the Gentile friends you had when the Hungarians came?

We were, we started to go to Hungarian schools and we weren't supposed to talk um, Czech. We were punished if they spoke Czech.

And the friends that you had who were not Jewish?

My friends who were Czech people, they moved away from uh, they moved from Uzhgorod, deeper into Czechoslovakia, okay. Those Czech people moved, and they had the most beautiful houses and everything they left.

Did anyone offer to help you? Non-Jews?

[Sighs]. Um, I think father could have um, had, he could have had somebody to help him, but he said every Jew is going, then uh, he doesn't want to stay either.

Do you remember at all if, if when your father brought friends home uh, if they ever talked about political things Jews & non-Jews alike? Did they talk about Zionism, about Is...about Palestine?

That's the only thing that I have to tell you, I don't know, my father, he had a lot of friends. My sister also had a lot of boyfriends who were Zionists, but father was not one of them.

What about um, talking about people like Beneš and Masaryk?

Yeah, forever, Masaryk was the president, he was not nothing because my mother called him father, okay. And there was three Jewish kids born. A woman had triplets and uh, they were named after President Masaryk. His name was Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, okay. He had three names and uh, all these three kids were named after the president.

And Beneš too?

Beneš was very loved, very much loved too. But when Masaryk died, then they even had a song for it in Czech that I still remember. That 'til, 'til you live it as 30 year old until you live with us, it's going to be good for us. The Jews were singing this.

So did they expect trouble when Masaryk died?

Right away.

Even under Beneš because Beneš took over?

Yes, right away. Things were going downhill.

Before the Hungarians came?

After the Hungarians came.

After the Hungarians came in 1938. When the Germans um, in 1938 took the Sudetenland, do you remember what people in your family was saying or anybody in the community was saying?

When the Germans took over they put out rules that the Jews can't get out on the street.

This was in '44?

Yeah, we can't go shopping. They can't work. Um, it was horrible.

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