Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Weinberger - February 6, 1983

Life before Hungarian Invasion

Um, when Hungarians came in uh, did life for the Jews change then?

Oh yeah, automatically, automatically. See my, my father he spoke uh, very good Hungarian and there were a few Jews who knew, who did speak Hungarian. Uh, because you know, because Czechoslovakia's not very big like here uh, the uh, United States is bigger than the whole continent of Europe. So when they came in uh, the first thing they had slogans, Jews, Jews, Jews of course. It wasn't that bad but to still to be called that name is bad, just like somebody would call a dirty nigger, you know it's bad. Just like in the South here, you have no protection and as it went on then uh, then they start building military uh, installations around the city. And when the soldiers are marching uh, down the street they were singing anti-Jewish slogans at uh, I don't know, everything at the Jews.

Did that frighten the Jewish people?

Sure it did, yeah. But uh, we did have a few friends too, just like I say was across the street, also a Jewish family. And they had a, someone living in their house, he was a Hungarian policeman. He was very nice too. And he always gave us information, what's happening. He always gave us information if they induct a new policy against the Jews. Like Jews couldn't own so much, only so much land. A Jew couldn't own uh, a store. Like if someone lives in a Jewish house he doesn't have to pay so much interest. Happen, you always knew ahead of time what, what kind, what's gonna be adopted so you always, let us know a head of time. But that was the worst.

Did your father get to keep his store or was his...

No, they took it away, right away, the store was taken away.

Were your parents at all active politically?


What about Zionist groups?

Well in my own town there was uh, there were a few Zionist. There were uh, the truth were outcasts which was really by our own people.


See we were so religious, the religious people don't believe in Zionism. They believe in a Messiah will come on a white horse and he will lead us, so actually--but there were a few people who ran away to uh, in those days it was called Palestine.


They survived. But mostly...

Do you recall hearing your parents talk at all about what was going on? Did they ever talk about leaving or about...

There was no place to leave. Leave where?


No place.

You mentioned that you were all in a synagogue um, how long were you there?

Only two days. Until the, everybody was picked up, you know, nobody left uh, outside everybody was picked up. ??? we were all in one place in the synagogue. Then the trucks came in, military trucks. But still Hungarians until the ghetto, in the ghetto the Germans took over. But the Hungarians rushed us for Hungaria but the Germans were completely in charge, the Germans.

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