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2 The Fight and Execution at Koztarsasag Ter

2 The Fight and Execution at Koztarsasag Ter

Hungarian Jewry had been suffering for months from vicious Anti-Semitism and severe restrictions before March 1944, but after the German occupation of Hungary on 19th March the real persecution began. The Jewish population from outside Budapest was rounded up and sent to the concentration camps. Most were sent to Auschwitz. In Budapest, a decree was passed stating that all the Jews must leave their homes and move to a ghetto or to specially designated Jewish houses named 'Csillagos Haz' or 'Star Houses' because the Yellow Star of David that Jews had to wear, was pasted on the gates of them. It was soon after we moved into of one of these houses that a couple of German SS Nazis tried to frame Mother with shooting at them from a window and one of them hid a gun under our carpet.
An hour after this event some Hungarian Arrow Cross thugs broke into our Star House, while lots of German soldiers were patrolling outside in the street. They ordered everybody to assemble in the court yard with their valuable articles; money, jewellery and other silver or gold ornaments. They robbed us, demanding all the money, wedding rings and other jewellery that people were wearing. Then they sent people up to their flats, one by one, to bring down every valuable that they still had, while threatening that the spouse or a child would be beaten if they tried to hide anything. When all the valuables had been stowed in rucksacks, and when they were satisfied with the loot, the men were separated from the women. (Most of the able Jewish men had been taken away for forced labour long before this, anyway). They marched the women off in one direction and we boys and old men were taken out the other way to be executed, on Tattersalls Horse Race Course. On our way we were joined by hundreds of other Jewish men and boys. Not far from our house we stopped by the Square where there was a fight happening. I watched the German soldiers and the Hungarian Police firing toward the trees. People asked what was happening. 'The Jews are fighting,' they were told, by our guards. Next to me one old man collapsed so the Hungarian soldier shot him. A German Tiger tank arrived and started firing at a corner building where a blue and white flag was flying.


Oil on Canvas 183 X 91.5 cms