Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Shlanger - March 4, 1983

Separation of Family

And what was he doing in the Soviet Union?

Well, at first, he was taken to Siberia, to a camp. They were afraid that he might be a German spy. But uh, when the war broke out with uh, Germany, he had to join the Russian Army and later when the Czechoslovak Brigade was organized, he was transferred to the Czechoslovak Brigade.

And wound up in Poland, eventually?

Yes. Yes, he was um, he was stationed at the city of Voronezh at the beginning with the Soviet Armies. And there, he was an interpreter. They captured a lot of Hungarian officers at Voronezh, and he was questioning the officers, the Hungarian officers.

Was it hard for you to leave your family?

No, it wasn't, I had to do it.

Your parents didn't object?

I couldn't... No, did not object at all. In fact, they encouraged me. My parents were quite old, they couldn't go.

How did your father feel in 1938, when the fascists came to power?

Well, he, he was very disappointed, very disappointed.

Why? It was a conservative movement.

Yes, but it was an anti-Semitic movement also. Conservative movement, he didn't mind a conservative movement but not an anti-Semitic movement.

Did you see them again? When you moved to Budapest?

Never again. I used to receive packages from them for awhile, until 1944 and after that, nothing.

Do you remember the last time you saw them?


Remember the, the farewell?

The date, I... Summer of 1942.

What was that like, did you... anything special pass between you? Did you say anything?

They still... They were still holding the land. They still had the land and the peasants were working on the land.

So, there was no thought in your mind that you would never see them again?

No, no, I never suspected that one day I'll be deported to a concentration camp.

Do you know what happened to them?

They were taken to Auschwitz. First they were taken to a ghetto and from the ghetto they were deported to Auschwitz.

How did you find out about that? When did you find out? Was it after the war that you discovered this?

When I met up with my brother, I found out about it. My brother already visited my hometown, when I met up with him. And my brother told me, that, you know um, father and mother, they are dead. There were taken to Auschwitz.

You moved to Budapest in nineteen forty...


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