Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Schey - June 10, 1994

Knowledge of Holocaust

Was there information coming out of the J...Jewish Council offices? Is that where most of the information came from?

Not much, not, not much. Except that if they will take us away from here it will be to relocate for work.

To Poland?




Um, w...when Hungary took part of Czechoslovakia...


Did, did you um, did you hear news of that...


...in 1930 when the war began?

You know, it is a very big difference that the fact that there was no television there. In two seconds you know what goes on, on the other end of the world. The communications weren't that, they weren't--when the Germans came in the borders, to a point, were already closed. Because I know of a few friends who were very, very wealthy and tried to get out and who had money in Switzerland and here and there. And the only way they got out was, is that particular train I'm sure you know about which Eichmann uh, arranged for, I don't know, a hundred, thousand families or whatever it was, I don't remember the amount of money. A certain amount of Jews were taken out. But that was the only way, the, the borders were closed. Uh, I, for instance, learned the hotel business after I graduated from high school. And my--I was going to go to uh, Switzerland to finish another year of hotel school. And there was no way I had to go. So the communication wasn't that good. It wasn't like today. So you, you really did not know much.

But you knew there was a war on.

Oh absolutely. We knew there's war. We knew there are atrocities. I knew that, we knew that as soon as, from the small towns we heard that uh, people are put in ghettos. We never heard of ghettos, it wasn't like in Poland. We didn't know what a ghetto was. I mean, we kind of called the ghetto, the--in Budapest the, the part that the Orthodox Jews lived, which wasn't a ghetto, but to a Neolog Jews that was a ghetto. But that's all I knew about a ghetto.

Do you think that your family separated itself from that kind of Jewish life?


There was a distinction that it might happen to the other Jews but it wasn't going to happen to you.

No, you mean when we heard about that it happened in the country side?


No. Then, then we knew that it's something very bad is going to happen sooner or later and it will happen here. Except there was no way out anymore. There was no way to leave the country. And uh, within days after the Germans came in, the laws started coming. First you had to turn in your radios, then your valuables, then your bank accounts. And maybe here this sounds unbelievable: what do you mean you have to, who knew? In Hungary everybody was registered at the police. I mean, if you lived in an apartment house or you had a home or whatever, in this particular, like here would be a zip code in this section, whoever lived there had to be registered at the police.

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