was born István Katona in 1924. My father was the
manager of a large agricultural estate in Kartal, a
village of few thousand people, 40 km from Budapest.
We lived the normal Hungarian assimilated Jewish
existence: I went to Jewish elementary school, had my Bar
Mitzvah, went to the local synagogue on High holidays. My
mother kept a kosher household.
Katona at 20
father was only 55 years old when he was forcibly retired
in 1942, due to the Hungarian anti-Jewish laws. The law
restricted the number of Jews in certain professions. The
same year, when I just finished High School, my parents
moved to Tarnaméra, the village where my father
was born. As Jews were not allowed to go to university, I
went to the town of Gyöngyös, where I started
an apprenticeship as an electrical mechanic.
Germans occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944, and imposed a
new government. This government, with German supervision
and the enthusiastic participation of the majority
Hungarian population, brought in daily more and more
restrictions. Jews were not allowed to travel, at the
train station they arrested all Jews, who were interned
and later deported. Within weeks we had to wear yellow
stars. Within six weeks of German occupation, by the end
of April, we had to move into newly erected ghettoes. At
first, these ghettoes were organized only in the country.
In Budapest at that time they established the so called
"yellow star houses" where the Jews had to live, and
later they had to move to a ghetto too.
ghetto was the most horrible, humiliating, soul
destroying experience. My parents had lived a
comfortable, middle class existence. My father was a
proud Hungarian, his eyes were filled with tears in
hearing the Hungarian Anthem and not by hearing the
already a shock leaving our home in 1942 and moving to
Tarnaméra, in a small part of our ancestral home.
My father, now without a daily occupation at 55, felt
like a useless homebody.
Tarnaméra everybody knew he was a Jew, even
without yellow stars. One felt a Jew, like one is black
haired, has freckles, or limps. It was a fact, which
could not be changed. But to wear a yellow star, to
become a target of ridicule, shattered my
the end of April 1944 the gendarmerie told us, "be ready,
you will be moved to a ghetto, you are allowed to take 10
kg. of clothing, cooking utensils etc., but not
valuables, mementos". To us, life ceased to exist. We
were told to hire a horse-drawn carriage, at our expense,
to go to an unknown destination.
being deported from Koszeq, Hungary, 1944
[Yad Vashem Archive]
first days of May 1944 we were taken to Bagolyuk, an
abandoned mining settlement close to Eger, approximately
40-50 km away.
waited for us was the hell coming to earth. Hungarian
gendarmes and German SS kicked and hit everybody. They
ordered us to get off the carriage, run to one of the
houses, and 2-4 families had to occupy a room. The
brutality dehumanized everybody, not only the ones who
did the beating, but us too. Old friends fought for the
corners of the room, which looked more comfortable. The
same happened in the kitchen, with cooking and food, if
food was available at all.
personally, the ghetto life did not last long. First, as
a young man I was conscripted to the ghetto police.
Within two weeks came the order that everybody born in
1924 should go to a forced labor battalion on the 15th of
May, 1944. My parents were downhearted to be parted from
their only child, but thought --very realistically-- that
everything would be better than the ghetto. How true it
was, though I did not know that at that time.
a late effort to keep control of the Hungarian Jews, the
Horthy regime called up every Jewish man to labor
battalions attached to the Hungarian Army. My two uncles
volunteered and survived. My father who was a strong
practical man, said to them, "I will not go, somebody has
to stay with the women and children." There were
approximately 15-20 relatives in the ghetto. He stayed,
went with them to Auschwitz, was separated from them on
the first selection, and finally killed in Dachau.
15, 1944: Hungarian Jews deported to
that time, I didn't know what would happen to my parents.
I had the vague idea, that they would work somewhere to
help the war efforts. And in any case, we had the firm
conviction that the war would not last long and that the
Allies would win. We never thought about the viciousness
of the Germans.
every rail carriage was an essential war necessity, when
the Russians had already liberated half the Ukraine and
were already in Romania, they packed the whole Jewish
population from the Hungarian countryside in cattle cars
and deported them to Auschwitz. It happened to my
parents: their entire ghetto was deported within three
weeks of my departure.
they arrived in Auschwitz, my mother made --most
probably-- the same selfless, unwise, lethal decision,
that my father made weeks earlier. At that time, my
father did not grab the last opportunity of going to the
labor battalion "because somebody has to stay with the
women." My mother who was 47 years old, a strong, good
looking healthy country woman, probably said "I stick to
my sisters-in-law, with the small children" and was sent
with them straight to the gas chamber.
Jews on their way to the gas chambers.
Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, May 1944.
Vashem Photo Archives]
father was ordered to the other side and was taken to
Dachau, where according to the very precise, very
complete German documents, he died of "old age
complications" on the 27th of February, 1945.
not even 58!
called up into the labor battalions with all the boys
born in 1924 on the 15th of May, 1944. Although we were
wearing the yellow star, we did not experience any
problem in boarding a train to Jolsva, in northern
Hungary, a part of the country which had belonged to
Czechoslovakia from 1918-1938. It was an exhilarating
feeling to sit in a passenger train carriage and not be
kicked, abused and swore at by all and sundry. We were
assembled randomly, about 300 in one battalion, and given
a group of guards of old Hungarian peasant soldiers. Our
number was 107/302. Our guards came from the surrounding
country side, which was a lucky break.
Czech republic was a real democracy, based on equality,
multiparty system and civil liberties for all. Our guards
lived in that democratic --although for them alien--
state for twenty years. They were ethnic Hungarians who
first welcomed the Hungarians back in 1938, but after 6
years of Hungarian rule, they saw the difference.
were not harsh to us, in fact our treatment was mild
compared to stories heard elsewhere. We had to work hard,
and they were strict but not cruel.
straight away met an old acquaintance, Stephen Herman. I
acquired lifelong friends, like George Varnai in Sydney,
Laci Ivan in France and that helped. Stephen lived in
Spain after the war. We worked in Ozd in the steel mill,
in Putnok in a timber cutting camp and later, from July,
in Budapest. Here we were housed in a bombed-out block of
flats in Reitter Ferenc Street and worked in the army
food depot, and later in the railway station, all the
time loading and unloading goods trains. Half of the
battalion was from Budapest. These boys --legally or
illegally-- went home to visit their families on
weekends, who by now lived in the "Jewish houses", and
they brought in food, clothing etc. Even I went out to
visit my mother's aunt, who was my only relative in
15th of October we were standing in line for lunch. The
radio was on and we heard Horthy's proclamation for
asking for peace with the Allies. We were extremely
happy, our freedom has arrived.
of the boys, who worked at the railway station unloading
weapons and ammunitions, got hot under the collar,
commandeered the horse-drawn carriages of the battalion
and went to the railway station to collect weapons and
arm ourselves for the eventual liberation.
took less than six hours for the Arrow Cross (Hungarian
Nazi) Party to take power from the Horthy regime, with
the tacit but forceful help of the German Occupation
Army. Somebody on the street noticed that we had armed
ourselves and reported us to the police or the Arrow
on trucks arrived and as we had already heard on the
radio, that the Nazis had taken over the Government,
there was a surrender without fight. The trucks took us
to the Police Headquarters. We stood in the corridor for
hours with both hands held up in the air, facing the
wall. Any slackness was rewarded with a rifle butt in the
back. One by one we were led in and interrogated. When
the police found out who were the "ring leaders" who
brought in the arms, it was about 4 AM. They kept the
"instigators", about 15 men, who, after further
interrogation, were deported to Auschwitz. The rest of us
were escorted back to our quarters. We were given
additional guards, as the Arrow Cross did not trust our
regular army personnel, who had been with us since May.
two weeks, on the 29th of October, 1944, we were given
marching orders to an unknown destination. Approximately
half of the battalion were Budapest boys. Most of them
deserted, went home or somewhere in the city, illegally
hiding, as they thought it a better risk for survival. We
from the country had no choice at all, nowhere to go.
direction was to the west. We reached the
Hungarian-German [former Austrian] border in less
than a week on foot, [about 200 km]. It was
horrible, our group was now part of a big march. Our
battalion had a fairly good behaved, formerly Czech
citizen "crew," but there were guards supervising even
them, and these guards did not think twice: anybody who
tried to escape, or was too sick to walk, was summarily
4th of November, 1944, at the border, they turned us over
to an SS officer, who commanded a guard outfit of
teenagers in the uniform of the Volksturm, a German
auxiliary brigade. Our sergeant major stood us in line
and started to sing an old Hungarian song "Now anybody
should tell me in my eye, whom I offended in my life
time" [Most mondja el valaki a szemembe, kinek mit
vétettem én életemben]. He
started to cry, because most probably he knew what is
waiting for us.
to other people's experience, we were herded to a
passenger train. The doors were locked, a guard was
placed on each connecting platform. We passed railway
stations without stopping, for several days. One day, we
reached the station of a large city, where lots of German
Red Cross ladies were waiting to give food and water for
German troops going or coming to the Eastern and Western
Front. They could not fathom who we were, the passengers,
so they tried to comfort us. They were rudely repelled by
our guards, but we were a curiosity for the people on the
station, as we had civilian clothes and were in custody.
arrived in Buchenwald, as we found out later, on the 9th
of November, 1944. At the station funny looking,
striped-clothed people surrounded us, asking in German
and Yiddish to give them all the food and clothing we
have, as the Germans will take away everything anyway. We
did not believe a word they were saying. How could it
happen to us, we were brought here to work, but anyhow,
we are part of the Hungarian Army.
minutes we were rudely awakened. We had to strip, put
everything we had down, sent to shower, then barbers
removed any hair [everywhere] we had, and naked
--in November-- marched to pick up the striped prison
clothes and wooden shoes. In a short time, we looked the
same as the "funny people" in the railway station. We
were taken to an office building, SS guards asked our
name, date of birth, and profession, then they asked,
when were we taken prisoners by the German Army? Some of
us said, that we are not prisoners, we are in the
Hungarian Army. These people were quickly reminded with a
box on the ear or a kick in the private parts, that what
we are, stinking Jews. Nevertheless in the German files,
we were called "Hungarian Jewish Political Prisoners," as
I have personally seen in records I saw when I went back
to Buchenwald in 1990.
was given a number, reminded, that we now had no names,
just numbers, which should be noted and answered, when
called. I became No 87645. My friend, Laci Ivan, who had
an unbelievable mathematic memory became No 87654. He was
"annoyed" that he received a number, which could be so
were housed in barracks. At the end of the barracks lived
the KAPO, usually a German common criminal, sometimes a
political prisoner. All were hardened men, with long
years of struggle just to survive behind them. Whoever
survived and became a KAPO, went through lots of things
in the camp, so his life meant more to him than ours and
he behaved accordingly.
of Buchenwald [Yad
had to sew his number on the jacket and a little
triangle, according to classification. Green for
criminals, blue for murderers, red for political, pink
for homosexuals, and yellow for the lowest of the low,
the Jews. The beds were multistory and two people to a
bed. Morning and night we had to stand for hours on
"Appell" (roll call), they counted and recounted us.
neighboring barrack was the whole Danish police force, as
they had disobeyed the German order to deport their Jews.
food was tea in the morning, soup for lunch and a piece
of bread with a tiny bit of margarine, sausage or jam
[one of these on different days] for dinner. We
were constantly hungry, not knowing that this is only the
occupation was registered as electrician. A couple of
days later there was a notice on the barracks board,
asking for tradesmen to report in the office. One of my
friends, who was an electrical instrument repairer, went
for "Erdarbeiter" as he translated this as "farm
laborer." But the correct translation was "construction
laborer." He could not do that job and died shortly.
reported for an electrician's job, as did a few friends
from the battalion, who were tradesmen. One even brought
his cousin, hoping he could pass as an electrical
assistant. So we were sent on November 15, 1944 to
SCHLIEBEN to work in an antitank missile factory
[Panzerfaust] I was put in the electrician's
unit, in a separate section of a barrack. Our KAPO was a
Polish political prisoner with the name of Narczys. I do
not think he ever was an electrician, but a fairly
reasonable man. He covered his back and we had to work
hard, but he was not cruel. We also had a German
electrical foreman, a local electrical master from the
village, who was quite decent.
morning we had an "Appell" count and marched to the
factory. At night even the dead had to be brought back,
recounted and if the number was not right, they recounted
and recounted again and again for hours. The guards were
extremely cruel. The favorite pastime was to take off a
prisoner's cap and throw it against the electrified
barbed wire fence. The prisoner was ordered to pick it
up. Then either he was killed by the high voltage of the
fence or shot as a would-be escapee.
day --as usual-- I was speaking in Hungarian with my
friend Jancsi Csillag, while working on an installation.
A guard from the tower shouted in Hungarian "you stinking
Jews, work and don't talk" We found out that he was an
ethnic German from Hungary, who had joined the SS. He was
with us until the liberation. He tried the same "hat
trick" with me one day, jokingly or spitefully, I don't
know. I didn't fall for it and he didn't force the issue.
electricians, we had better food, better quarters and
could move in the camp without guards. The best job was
working in the kitchen. Some piece of equipment or an
appliance went wrong frequently. We made sure of it. An
extra bowl of soup, a piece of bread that we could
obtain, made the difference between life or death. A
favorite was the potato skin, thrown on the scrap-heap.
We collected them, washed, and baked them on the barrack
stove: it was a veritable feast.
gave up, died. A friend of mine was a student of
agriculture, a boxer, a giant of a man. He said on the
first day, that one can not survive treatment like that,
that he is not an animal. He died within months. Of
course it also depended on the job. The missile had a
yellowish substance, TRINITROTOLUOL as the explosive. It
was so dangerous to the health that even the Germans gave
extra milk for the people who worked with it.
Nevertheless, they died emaciated within a short time.
Prisoners After the Liberation --
April 12, 1945.
was an "international" concentration camp
established in 1937 next to Weimar, Germany.
Until the end of March 1945, approximately
240,000 people from about 30 different countries
passed through Buchenwald and its satellite
camps (about 130 in number). 43,000 of them were
murdered or perished as a direct result of the
harsh camp conditions. Several thousand more
died after the liberation, from disease and
starvation. [From Yad Vashem Archives]
life, as Hungarian Jews, was especially hard to bear
among the other, mostly Polish Jewish prisoners.
was an enmity between Hungarians and Poles. The Poles
could not understand why the Hungarians did not speak
Yiddish --which for them was an everyday, national
language. They despised us for that, for the fact that
most Hungarian Jews were assimilated, thinking of
themselves as Hungarians first, who also had Jewish
religious beliefs. Polish Jews were Jews, not Poles
--Jews and nothing else.
from cultural differences there was an other factor,
which I could understand but never condone. They
constantly reminded us, that they had been forced into
ghettoes and taken to concentration camps 4 - 5 years
earlier, while we had lived freely, albeit restricted by
"mild" anti-Jewish laws. The Pole who was in the camp was
a survivor of a bitter struggle just to live, and wanted
to live, even by treating us badly.
survived in spite of that constant reminding that I was a
"traitor" who lived well, while they had suffered.
lucky with my trade, and also I firmly believed, all the
time, without any doubt, that I would survive, I had to
German foreman brought in newspapers, so from that we
knew that the war would not, could not, last long. So we
did everything to survive! My firm belief in that made me
psychologically strong. There was barely a minute when I
doubted that I would survive.
commander was a German air force officer, who was wounded
in the Eastern front. He was not an SS, and behaved
better than an SS would. In January 1945, the factory,
HUGO SCHNEIDER WERKE, established an other assembly
plant, in FLÖSSBERG. As they needed electricians,
some of us were taken there. We noticed the difference
between the two camps right away. No paths between the
barracks, just melted snow and unbelievable mud.
Everywhere bodies, where they fell, and left there for
days, just a warning to us. Hungarian Jews were brought
from Budapest in December, to erect --from nothing-- a
camp and factory on the outskirts of the village.
of the people in charge of the Buchenwald
days our KAPO contacted the commander in Schlieben, who
came around [he was the commandant of both camps]
and told the Flössberg SS to do something, as the
circumstances did not help the production and the German
war effort. He was not worried about our health, but
about the number of missiles. That was his only concern,
but we were lucky that this helped us too.
the end of March came my only moment of doubt about my
survival. I was extremely weak with diarrhea, miserable
after the exceptionally cold 1944/45 winter. My left big
toe had been frostbitten since 1941, an extremely hard
winter, when I walked to school, so now it was inflamed
I hit my thumb on my left hand with a hammer, and it
become infected, with an inflamed lymph node under my
left arm. I went to the camp hospital and asked time off
from work. There was a Hungarian doctor, who told me,
that he would not do that, as anyone unable to work will
be sent back to Buchenwald, to an uncertain fate,
indicating death. But, he said, he needs an electrician
in the hospital, so I could be a hospital orderly, sleep
in my own corner in the storeroom, and have a bit better
food. It was my lucky break, I even could help my
friends, like George Varnai, who was at that time in the
hospital (later on he was shipped back to Buchenwald, but
it was the last days of the war, so he survived).
and youths are being led in columns by soldiers
of the 3rd US Army to a hospital sick bay after
the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration
camp in Buchenwald, Germany, April 13,
that hospital, I received my first and lifelong lasting
lecture about Communism. There was a Russian doctor, a
political prisoner of war, so he could work only as an
orderly. He said that when war ended, the Soviet Union
would dominate the whole of Eastern Europe and Hungary
would be a colony! But --he said-- do not hope for much:
the whole middle class, the rich peasants, would all be
liquidated [he explained, how it was done in the
Soviet] and in any case, Jews are incapable to become
good Communists, as they are socially, morally and by
their tradition not suited to it. So it seemed that for
me, there was no future, as I had so many bad points.
On the 13th of April 1945, we were already hearing
Allied tanks roaring, and seeing flares up in the night
sky. Then a trainload of cattle wagons were brought in
the camp, everybody was packed in, and we started our
was 3 more weeks of misery for us, even they could have
easily left us there and saved their own hides. But it
was more important for the SS to make sure that we would
perish. As I found out in 1992, when we went to
Flössberg for a visit, the Americans arrived in the
village one day later, the 14th of April.
were on the train for about two weeks, taken through
Germany and Czechoslovakia and finally to
are forced to build the "Russian Camp" in
Mauthausen, Austria in 1942.
credit: USHMM Photo Archives}
not know how I or anybody else survived the train trip as
we seldom if ever had anything to eat. I have only a very
vague recollection about the journey. The only thing I
remember that from time to time the train stopped in the
middle of nowhere, we
out, to throw down the dead bodies. I definitely remember
looking for charcoal, as everybody had diarrhea and that
was the only "medicine" available. Finally, we walked
from Mauthausen train station to the camp, on the top of
Commandant of Mauthausen from August 1939 to May
Tsagatakis Photo Collection, courtesy of
spirit rose, when the Hungarian speaking SS --from our
old camp-- came alongside me and said. "It will be all
right now for you, the war will not last longer than a
few days, but what will happen to me?" I did not dare to
tell him, what I thought, that he deserved what he will
get [or is he today a wealthy businessman in
camp, it was the usual procedure, never mind that the war
was close to the end. Shower, delousing, back to the same
dirty uniform, march down to the so called "Russenlager"
a section of the camp, which earlier housed Russian POWs,
but now was the place to collect deportees to die from
"natural causes". Within days the SS disappeared, and the
camp was taken over by Viennese police. On the 5th of
May, 1945, the Americans arrived, not believing what they
were rotting bodies everywhere, and for days the
Americans wandered around, filming the scenes from
Dante's inferno. They forced the town folk to see the
camp, then to dig mass graves, where German soldiers and
locals had to bury the victims with their bare hands.
count the corpses of prisoners killed in the
Mauthausen concentration camp.
U. S. National Archives, College Park,
Americans wanted to be helpful, so they gave us food.
Lots of people died in the next weeks from over-eating.
People who were feeble, sick, hungry, ate the --rich and
plentiful food and died. Laci Kantor, who days ago had
kissed me, and thanked God that he had survived, that he
was free to go home to his parents, laid in our bed next
morning, dead by my side.
the Americans realized the situation and erected tents
for hospitals and took the sick there. Every hour a
little bus arrived, picking up 12 people, who were laid
out in front of our barrack, waiting for the transport to
the hospital. My instinct for life gave me strength to
crawl out on my own accord, and lay beside them. The
hospital bus came, there were 13 people. What could they
do? They took 12, and would come back for the 13th an
hour later. I was among the 12. Who knows, maybe this
hour made the difference between life and death. I knew I
had to do it.
thousand (6000) inmates await disinfection in a
Mauthausen courtyard, July 1941. After 24 hours
of waiting, nearly 140 had died.
received blood and sugar transfusion and in two weeks I
was up in the main camp, ready to be repatriated.
nationalities were separated for transport, so my friend
from Northern Hungary, János Csillag, became again
a Czech citizen, to return to Nove-Zamky,
Jews from Transylvania, in 1944 a Hungarian territory,
had a problem [Transylvania, in Hungarian
Erdély, was taken in 1920 by the Trianon Treaty
from Hungary and became a Romanian territory. Hitler gave
it back in 1940 to the Hungarians]. They wrote to
King Michael, to send a train for them. The King replied,
that it must be a mistake, they must be Hungarians, as
Jews were not deported from Romania, so why don't they go
back to Hungary. It was the way he paid back to the
Transylvanian Jews, who always regarded themselves
Hungarians, even under Romanian rule, between 1918-1940.
transport back to Hungary started on the June 1, 1945.
Mauthausen was in the American zone of occupation. The
border of the Soviet zone was at Linz, where we changed
trains. The first impressions of a Russian soldier was
not flattering. They were dirty, hungry, and nearly
always drunk. In the afternoon in Vienna we had to cross
a bridge --bombed in the Danube-- on foot. Everybody had
to show his left armpit, for the tell-tale sign of the SS
tattoo of the blood group. My left armpit was swollen,
puss oozing for the last 3-4 months. I had an infection
after hitting my left thumb with a hammer, losing my
thumb-nail. So the Russian soldier said I must be an SS,
who tried to get rid of his tattoo. To make it worse, I
was wearing a stripped down German uniform, given to me
by the Americans. The boys traveling with me told him in
several languages, no, not SS, Jewish,
Konzentrationslager, but to no avail. He locked us
[as everybody very valiantly stayed with me] into
a shed, saying that the commandant will decide our fate
in the morning.
at liberation by the US troups
Staes Photo Archives]
the night, there was a knock on the wall. An Austrian man
asked us, why were we locked in. We told him, that one of
us is a suspected SS, wrongly accused. He broke the wall
of the shed and lead us through the gardens to the
street, where we reached the sector occupied by the
Western Allies. Who knows, was it his good heart, or did
he want to help an SS?
day we went by train to Hungary. I did not go further
than Szombathely, a border town, where the Hungarian
medics put me in hospital. I had three weeks of freedom
since liberation, weighed 35 kg., with my 183 cm height.
I was operated on my armpit, received antibiotics, and
good nourishing food.
they felt I was well enough, around the middle of July, I
went to Budapest, where I knew I had my mother's aunt.
The train travel was a nightmare. People stormed the
train in the second it pulled in the station. Thousands
traveled, mostly for scrounging for food, as Budapest, 6
months after liberation, was a city of starved people,
totally without affordable food supply. There was a
rampant inflation, one's wages was not worth a kilogram
of bread at the evening of a pay-day. People sat even on
the roof of train carriages, just to get somewhere,
reaction from the concentration camp was, that I could
not conceive anything funny. I spent 10-14 days in
Budapest before going to Tarnaméra. One day I went
to see a Charlie Chaplin movie. The audience roared with
laughter about the misfortunes of the little man. I could
not understand why they laughed. I just felt sorry for
him. So I walked out in the middle of the
reached Tarnaméra, I realized that I arrived back
to a forgotten existence that I had left just 15 months
ago. Those months were eradicated from my life, when I
became a non-person in a near to animal existence, from
October 1944 to May 1945.
recognized me, not a living soul, but one.
we left to the ghetto, we gave our little fox-terrier to
a neighbor. The dog was on the street, came towards me,
licked my trousers, sniffed and jumped up and down. I
became myself again, who, at last, been recognized and
loved --by a dog.
tenant seemed glad to see me, and told to go to the
police station, where my friend Alex Seidner (now in
Melbourne) was the local chief. He was the first Jew, who
returned to Tarnaméra in the early spring of 1945,
so he became the police sergeant. I slept in a bed,
washed myself, ate and tried to become a normal person.
sank in slowly, that I would not see my parents again.
Even in the summer of 1944, we thought that they would be
taken away from the ghetto to work. Some people even
received a postcard, from a mysterious WALDSEE, somewhere
near to Switzerland on the map.
not receive any, but I did not get very worried. In the
concentration camp we saw men, women, but no children or
old people. But the daily struggle, just to survive,
blunted our senses. It was not selfishness, that we did
not think about anything not connected with our daily
survival, it was pure animal behavior. The Nazis did not
think, that we were better than an animal, so by their
treatment we became one.
next months, after inquiries, I found out that apart from
me, only two uncles and two cousins survived from the
whole family. The family consisted of: 1 grandfather, 2
parents, 19 uncles and aunts and 19 cousins. So 5 of us
were left out of 41 persons! 36 murdered by gas, by
beating, overwork, or starvation. Nobody will ever know
the exact truth about how they died.
come a long way ...
Agi & Stephen Casey
For those that are interested to have a glimpse
into the Jewish life of a small town in Hungary
prior to the Holocaust, please see a pamphlet
written by a retired Catholic High School
teacher from Sàtoraljaujhely, a town in
North-Eastern Hungary, that was translated from
Hungarian by Mr. Casey and his wife Agi. The
document can be downloaded by clicking on the
1st button at left. Also Agi and Stephen Casey
have translated from Hungarian the story of a
Jewish school established in the early 1800's in
the same town. To see that story, please click
on the last button at left.
you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader for
reading a PDF file, then please click on the
middle button at left to get a free copy of the