Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Father's Service in Hungarian Army

Did you hear from your father?

My father played--it's a funny role. He was in--somewhere in Kharkov, which is Ukraine. There was a bombing. He was in a uniform. He--a truck--uh, there was a bombing from what I remember. A truck hit his leg, broke it in two parts. He was laying, stranded on the road, whatever it was, still in a Hungarian uniform. When he, he must have known what happening to the Jews, and he knew that the Jews were being uh, taken out of any military service, put into labor camp. He threw away all his papers and when they found him, they asked him what his name was and rank, I suppose. He said he--his name is Alexander Schick, which it is.


Okay? His Yiddish name was Shia, y'Shia. They asked him what his mother's name was. It was Sarah and he said it was Magdalena. And my grandfather's name was Pinhas, which is uh, uh, Hungarian for Peter. And the names none of them were--and when they came to ask him what his religion was, he said, "Roman Catholic." They took him--they sent him to uh, Budapest to a hospital, military hospital. They knew of his family but supposedly we were Jews and he was not. He remained there until 1944 of May, just two weeks before we were taken from our home. There he was, um, uh, we had to pay for them to keep him there--he paid doctors and nurses. They knew he was a Jew, purely by circumcision.

In other words, you had to bribe.

He was bribing. And we were sending things. We were--we had to send--we had to find farmers that would send food, monies, whatever. Then at the end, when they found out--somebody finally got tired of hiding a Jew, or there was jealously--or who knows what happened. Anyway, the, the point was that he was sent home. They would have court-martialed him--this is what I remember hearing--um, but a bullet or a lynching was too good for a Jew. So they knew when they sent him home where they were going.


My father when he came home--I remember saying, "Now you're coming home?" Because we already knew that we're being taken.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn