Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Alexander Schleifer - August 1, 1982

The Roundup (part II)

So, what happened then? Did all of a sudden uh, what, what happened to your family?

Well, the family moved. As I said, we went to Uzhorod--from Uzhorod

Let's, let's let's go back just a little bit, Alex. Let's talk about how the Germans actually took you from your house and...

Well, actually, it wasn't the Germans. It was the Hungarians. See, it would be...


It would orders. They had the orders from the Germans to round up all the Jews. We was wearing a, a yellow star.

How did, how did, how did the actual roundup take place?

Well the--everybody got notice.

In the mail? Door to door?

No, door to door, not mail. Door to door and there was a time that such uh, a day everybody is going to go to, to that uh, place in Uzhorod where they put us in a uh, brick factory which, when they converted to a camp. And we stayed there about a month, if I'm not mistaken, maybe less.

And how far was that from your town?

Uh, from our town I would say about uh, I would say uh, thirty kilometers.

How did you get from the town to the camp or to the factory?

They, they, they took us on the, uh, on, on, the busses.

On the busses? Same busses as your father owned?

Owned? No, no.

Okay, so you weren't transported then by train at this point?

No, no, because there was no train, train connection between those two cities.

Did you uh, were you allowed to take anything with you?

Well, you took whatever you could take with you, whatever you can carry. That's about the size of it.

Was everybody in the town rounded up at once or was it a, a small process little by little?

Oh, no, they--all the Jews went the same time. [pause] All the same time.

Was there any kind of resistance to this? Did anybody resist?

Uh, what kind of resistance you could do. We cannot do no resistance up against the uh, the police which one--hell. How can you resist? We have to do whatever they tell you. I mean, that's the law. That is why I said that we Jews they were all those things was happening very late and they had heard then they might have resist just like in Poland. All right, what else do you like, sir?

We are doing very well.


Were uh, were families kept together at this time?

Yes, the family were together and we stayed together. All we was an open tent and we had two beds for, for mother, father and I had a bed with my brother. That was it. I mean, we had cots like we were on the floor and slept, slept on there. Straw, that was it.

Did anybody in the town try to stay back or hide or run or?

Not to my knowledge uh, not to my knowledge. [pause] Not to my knowledge.

Uh, during the roundup, was there any sort of mistreatment?

No, they, they didn't mistreat us because uh, see, as I said, it was the last resort that the Hungarian Jews were went. We were the Hungarian Jews. We were the last ones. Every other, other nationality whatever things they were already in the concentration camp long before us, [short pause] see?

Okay, so you are rounded up. Everybody was put on the busses with the, with their luggage, right?


And you were taken to this, uh...


...to this camp thirty, thirty kilometers away.


Okay, describe what happened then?

Oh, we stayed there about, I, I--as I would say about a month.

Was it fenced in?

It was fenced in, yes, and many times the maid who used to work for us she used to come just about every other day. She used to come down to us because she really loved our family. I mean uh, uh, she was the only one, I mean, very few Gentiles used to come there, but she was there every other day. She would always bring us some food and whatnot and gave it to us.

Was she a, a native Hungarian?

A native Slovak. I mean, well [pause] because there was no other. There was that, that particular part was. In other words, Czechoslovakia was out of three different states: one was Czech, the other Morvak, the third was Slovak. That that is Slovak. Part, part of that uh, uh, uh, thing the state it was Slovak except that the majority--all the, all the people there--the older people--there were towns where they spoke nothing else but Hungarian, see. So, they used to be Austria Hungary way back, I don't know, two years, a few decades before then and that is why the Hung took it back again in '39. So, there was a thing. [pause] And, we stayed there a month and after a month they shipped us to Auschwitz.

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