Interview Describes deportations from Hungary [2001 interview].
Deportations in Hungary started very swiftly. Eichmann and his group were very, very experienced in how to do this in a very short time now, particularly since the gendarmes of Hungary, 33,000 strong, were very, very cooperative. And so between May and July, in six weeks, they deported variously either 437,000 or 485,000 Jews [depending on references used] from the provinces. One of them was my great uncle who is in an army uniform here [indicating photograph], First World War uniform. He died in a train. We know exactly how many trains went - 147. Each train had many cars, each car contained a hundred Jews. Within the first three weeks, this very systematic deportation, the country was divided into six sections. The first section was this part [indicating map], had 287,000 Jews. In three weeks they were sent to Auschwitz, which was northwest from here. In the next three weeks, the next five sections were emptied of Jews. While this happened, the Jews of Budapest, except for the men who were all inducted to slave labor brigades, was relatively undisturbed. When I mean relatively, it means that everything was taken, people had to wear a yellow star, and in the end of June we had to move from our apartment, we were given three days to move. Now, it’s not easy to move when you have 200,000 people in a city of a million people, and they tell you that you can only occupy five percent of the apartment space. We moved together with our aunt and some other older relatives. There, six in a two-bedroom or two-room apartment, and that was what we had to do. Each apartment [building] had one Christian family left. They were the jailers. In our case, Mr. Varga, his name was Mr. Varga, was our jailer. The rule was that you had to leave everything behind except the bedding, and we had three hours every afternoon to go shopping and from two to five we were free to go but at five o'clock the doors were closed.