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1 The Gun

1 The Gun

March 1944 --- January 1945
About a month after the German occupation began we had to move to one of the Yellow Star Houses designated for the Jews of Budapest. The house was on Rakoczi Ut; one of the busiest avenues of the city a few hundred yards from the Eastern Railway Station. A few houses down the road was a German headquarter's building.
Early one morning Mother was on the courtyard balcony, (most Budapest houses are four or five storeys high with a big inner courtyard and railed balconies). We four children were still in bed. Mother was chatting with neighbours about our situation, when the gate of the house burst open and some German SS soldiers ran in. The women ran back to their own flats but one of the Germans looked up and singled out Mother to pursue. Two of them ran upstairs, (we were on the first floor), and they burst into our flat shouting menacingly.
They accused Mother of shooting from the house window at them. They demanded that she should hand over the gun. Mother, of course, protested that she had not done any such thing. One of them rounded up and guarded Mother and we four children, while the other disappeared into the rooms behind us. Soon he reappeared and ordered us to stay put until they returned to do a proper search. Mother thought that something was wrong and we started to look for hiding places and soon found a gun hidden under the carpet. Seeing this Mother ran out of the house. The street was full of Germans and Hungarian Arrow Cross Fascists. Mother saw some German officers from the Wehrmacht, ran to them and pointed out the two SS men that were standing outside our house. She told them that they had hidden a gun in our flat. The officers called over the two SS men and asked them to show their guns. One of them had an empty holster. They were ordered to go back with Mother and fetch the gun. This was only the opening of a terrible day; as an hour later a group of the Hungarian Fascists burst in to our house to rob and murder us.


Oil on Canvas 107 X 56 Cms