Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Schey - June 10, 1994

Help from Neighbors

Do you remember their name?

Uh, Busirmeni, Lesli...eh, Loyosh and Monsi Busirmeni. I was able to manage to get a uh, uh, acknowledgement from Yad Vashem for them as Righteous because they were absolutely wonderful to us. And, as I say, mostly that there was no previous uh, friendship or, or any basis for that. They hid us, well I, well to begin with, when... Oh, there are so many things it just... You know, stuff comes back...

Right, right.

...and it's not in an order.

Now your mother had left the judge's house.

Yes. What happened after? I think that was the time when neither one of us--It was pretty much the same time when I left Százhalom, which was a small village outside of Budapest where I was with her employee. And I think it was pretty much the same time and we had nowhere to go at that point. And we went back to our own apartment, which was sealed--here again I have to backtrack. When all the rules came out and all the uh, retail businesses were closed and all the businesses were taken away from the Jews, the uh, trades people were able to keep their business. In other words, they did not take the permit away. And my mother being a milline...being, having a millinery shop, that was a trade. So her trade's, trade uh, permit was not taken back. So the, the allowance was or the rule was that if you had a trade in your own apartment--which ours was partly apartment and partly the business--you could keep one room where you worked. You could keep one room where iron and, and steamer and whatever was used to make the hats, which was in the kitchen. The bathroom could be kept because you needed a bathroom. So from our wonderful apartment we were able to use the kitchen and one room and, and the bathroom--for a time. Again, you could not be on the street, so how the hell could you have the trade. But it was never revoked. It was forgotten. It was in that ??? it was, these were the rules which were impossible to understand for a logical person in America. How could you have the business but not be there because you can't be on the street, because you couldn't live there anymore? So our furniture was put into two rooms and sealed by the government with an inventory. Is it running out?

No, go ahead.

With an inventory, but these three rooms were left. So under the pretenses that running this business still, we were there. We were supposed to leave at four o'clock and you couldn't be on the street anymore, which we didn't. We had a wonderful, wonderful caretaker in that house and he knew that we were doing this. It was just close up everything. Have the dark curtains, which you needed anyway at that point because of, uh...


...because of the air raids...


...and so. And stay here and nobody will have to know. And that's where we stayed for several weeks. And at night he would come up and bring us food and bring cigarettes and, and uh, tell us what the BBC news was. And our neighbors next door, knowi...knowing that we are there and it was dark came and said, "Just come to our house, it is warm, they, we have everything, we have a radio, come in." So we really spent several, several--I don't remember, weeks or days staying there. Staying in our apartment but staying with them also. 'Til one day, I said to my mother, "If they ever come and have a--what they call Razzia, to come and check, in this apartment house we can't be Elizabeth Luttwine and Susanna Troppe because they line us up and all of the rest of the people know us. So this is really a dumb thing to do. We have to get out." So from there we went to some friends who were partly Gentile. The husband was Gentile and the wife wasn't, she was a second cousin. They were hiding seven people. We had a big five-room apartment, an apartment house. And all...

[interruption in interview]

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