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4  Hiding

4 Hiding

Some time after I returned from Tattersalls, where thanks to a great out cry from the neutral countries and a stern warning from the Allies we had been saved from execution, our family was again reunited briefly. Father, who been taken away for forced labour, managed to escape from this slavery and rejoined us intermittantly. I have never found out how he knew where to find us as we moved several times.
Soon we had to move to another Star House. Fewer and fewer Jews were left living in Budapest.
One day Father suddenly reappeared. He was wounded; shot in the leg. It was bad and gangrenous. We found out later that he had been involved in the resistance.
The next day, the Eichmann squad with their Hungarian henchman raided our Star House and rounded up the inhabitants for deportation. They took away most of the people, (including my eldest sister Agi), and promised to return soon for the rest of us. The gates were locked and there was a guard outside. We were trapped.
We had to find a hiding place before they returned. In our flat there was a locked room, for which only the Gentile concierge, or caretaker, had the key. We hastily collected every key that we could find in the flat and desperately tried and tried all of them, until luckily one fitted. The room was full of fine furniture and objects, which had been amassed by the caretaker. In the back of the room was a pile of Persian carpets. After locking the door behind us, Mother, Father, my two sisters and I climbed over and hid under the carpets.
The Nazis returned to round up everyone who remained. We heard all the shouts and cries and when they got to the locked door, they ordered the caretaker to open it. We heard them come in and rummage around. Luckily the caretaker convinced them that it was impossible for anybody to hide there, as he alone had the key.


Oil on Canvas 183 X 91.5 cms