Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Schey - June 10, 1994

Impressions of Wehrmacht

Tell me more. What were they like? They were friendly?

Well, they were friendly, they really were friendly and they were so thrilled that there's somebody who speaks their language fluently. I--a few times I remember that uh, I showed them a store or I walked around with them or something. And they, they were, they were friendly. And I was used to you know, to be among Germans. So to me it was not, I didn't look at them like, with the horns or whatever. I mean, they were just normal human beings and I lived among them for twelve years in school. So...

Do you remember what kind of uniforms they wore? What color were they?

[pause] Not black for sure.

They weren't black.


So they weren't SS men.

No. No. And I'm trying to remember that even in the last few weeks when uh, when all the atrocities were--I don't know if I saw that many Germans. It was the, the uh, the Arrow Party who--they were the dominant. They were worse than, than, than anybody. I mean, all those killings in the Danube was all done by the Arrow Party, it was not done by the Germans.

Did you ever see any of those?

The actual--no.

But you heard that they were being shot.

Yeah. And you could hear, you could hear, hear the shots. We were very close to the Danube. And one day when I was out, bread--that was always the big thing to try to get a loaf of bread uh, and somebody told me there is a baker and he's giving away bread. And I couldn't believe it and I took one of the men who was hiding in the same place we were uh, and I said, "They're giving away, you have to come and help me carry it." And we went to this baker and he gave us loaves and loaves, eight or ten loaves, I mean it was unbelievable. And as we were carrying it back, he got shot. By accident because the fighting was going on in the streets. No, that's all he needed because one get shot they take him to the hospital or anybody picks him up they'll find out he's Jewish. The circum...nobody was circumcised in Hungary unless you were Jewish. So it didn't take very much to find out if you--if a man was Jewish or not. And he dropped the breads and he was taken and I ran, I didn't want to be part of it. I knew I can't help you. And uh, he was taken to a hospital. And I don't remember under what s...either this, this other, this nephew or this, this godson who was a uh, Arrow Party, he, he got him out or whatever, but he came back to the house about a day and a half later. Anyhow, the bread, bread, everybody started my God what a miracle, all this bread. They were not, it didn't rise. So it--that's why he was giving it away. He couldn't sell it. And it was like mud. And you cut it open and it was un....I mean, they ate it, everybody ate it because they were hungry. Everybody was so sick like a dog. And tried on that little stove to toast it. It didn't help. It didn't, it, it just didn't happen. It was a heavy uh, dough which was, which didn't rise. And, and mud is the only thing I can remember. It tasted like mud, heavy mud.

And for that he was shot.

Uh, yeah.

But they didn't discover him?

I don't remember--he came back--I don't remember whether it was... The--this guy with, from the Arrow Party brought him back or they were so busy that it wasn't a big shot. They bandaged him and let him go. I don't remember but all I know is the next day he was back. And that was another miracle. And I have a lot of memories of after, what happened when it was all over, how the Russians--across the street where we lived was in a big department stores and they were in there and they were throwing through the window, they were throwing out the, the bolts of fabric and, and uh, clothes and lingerie and they were running with it. And, I mean, seeing my own stuff being carried down by them was, was, that was a shock. And also in the other house where we lived, there my mother had a fur coat which these people kept for her. And again, one day coming up the steps she sees the fur coat on one of, on the arm of one of the Russian soldiers. And you know that was maybe a bigger shock because you already felt that you survived it, you are alive. And you have a few things left. And, and now things were normalized. And then all of a sudden, it was far from normalized.

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