Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zoltan Rubin - January 12, 1983

Attempt to Rescue Parents

That's all right.

It's too much of...uh, my father was doing business...We had this convert, Ardo, he was a graf in our region, a baron.

Baron, aristocrat.

An aristocrat. And we were...they were doing business together all their lives. They were, he...this baron had lands and fields, lots of, very wealthy man. So before he left, when they started, the trouble started, so my father took all the gold, all the jewels, everything, and he gave it to him, he should hide it, okay. Now what happens, we had... and...cash money, what we had, we buried in my brother's house in Prešov, in the basement. Buried so that we kept the access to it anytime we need it. Quite a big, quite a sum, a big sum. I came when they took my father away, when they took him away, I knew that I needed more money than I had cash. So, I...first thing I said to myself, "I'll go to the graf because it's right there, not far from me in my village." I went to him and I says to him that I need so much money, I needed 10,000 crowns and I would like to take all the jewels and sell the jewels or something like this. And he says to me...so he sends his, his uh, assistant out to get and she came back. And she says that she can't find the jewels, she can't find anything...It was the first. So I says to him, so why don't you lend me the money and when my father will come out, he'll straighten out. He wouldn't give me the money. So, Sunday in the morning, I got up early in the morning, with my brother who lived in Prešov, also on Gentile, Gentile papers already, and I says to him, "Moric, let's go down in the basement, let's try to get in there." And there lived a guard ??? was the guy, SS, like SS, but we knew that Sunday he goes to church. So we got in, into the basement...

The, the Hlinka guard had taken your brother's house?

Hlinka guard. That's right.

And that's where you had hidden the money?

That's right. So, we knew that Sunday in the morning he goes to, to uh, church. We got in there, snuck in. And I was told, I wasn't there when we put in the money but my parents told me, when you go in his basement, there three cupolas are there. Under each cupola you will take out one stone and there is a box. And I walked in the basement. I says to my brother, "Here, it should be here." And I...we started to work here and we worked there maybe three hours. We took out rocks and stones and we couldn't find the money. The irony of the whole thing, I'm going to jump a lot. After the war, I came back and I met my brother from, from Persia, who came back from, as a, with the army, the Czechoslovakian army and I says to him, "Armin, there is money here in this basement, so much," I says, "Let's go down." Now this time we weren't afraid of going into the basement, in spite of this guy still lived there. And I go down in the basement and I says to him, "Armin, here; take a look at this hole." Half of the cupola was taken out and then all of a sudden, I says, "My God, there is second basement. There is two basements, one and the other." And we go down in the second basement and I walk in and I says, "One, two, three, this is it." And in ten minutes, I found it! So the irony of this is, like it bothers...it bothers me why I found it the second time. Why I didn't find it the first time? Yes, why didn't I find it the first time? It's there, it was there, I was told, that the money is there, the money would have helped. In fact, it bothers me today yet. In spite of, my father couldn't be a hundred years old today. He wouldn't live that long. Why didn't I find it the first time?

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