Hungarian Jewish civilian in Budapest, Hungary, 1939-1944; inmate in Lichtenworth camp, Austria, 1944-1945
REEL 1 Recollections of life in Budapest, Hungary during 1930s: education; awareness of events in Germany and Austria; political beliefs of parents. Recollections of life in Budapest, from 1939: impact of anti Jewish legislation on father's business; restrictions against Jews; wearing the yellow star; question of leaving Hungary.
REEL 2 Continues: deportation of a number of Jews with father's family among them; fate of family members; knowledge of concentration camps; confiscation of family home; food rations; accommodation in 'yellow star house'; obtaining extra food by working in Kitchens for Germans; mother's success in obtaining Christian ID papers.
REEL 3 Continues: working as maid for Hungarian Christian; returning to Budapest to protect mother; meeting with father before her deportation, 10/1944; attitude towards deportation; fate of mother. Aspects of deportation 10/1944. Aspects of work digging tank tracks on outskirts of Buda. Recollections of five day march to Austria, 10/1944: question of menstruation.
REEL 4 Continues: conditions; poor treatment of teenage boys; reaction of civilians to marching prisoners; trading valuables for food; comparison between Germans and Hungarian Arrow Cross; coping with freezing conditions; medical problems. Recollections of period of internment at Lichtenworth concentration camp, Austria, from 11/1944: description of camp; memories of camp commandant; food rations; sanitation; disposal of camp dead.
REEL 5 Continues: medical facilities; medical problems; roll call, Christmas day, 1944; activities to relieve boredom; latrines; attempts to keep clean; typhus epidemic; caring for fellow inmates; attitude towards shaved head.
REEL 6 Continues: treatment of inmates by guards; question of self preservation; escape of some inmates to village to get food; attitude towards Allied bombing; babies born in the camp; trying not to think of parents; role of Jewish police in camp; hearing approaching Allied gunfire; disappearance of German guards. Recollections of liberation: reaction of Russians to sight of camp and prisoners; disorganisation of liberation operation; staying in disused farmhouse; food distributed by Russians; arrival of vans to disinfect inmates.
REEL 7 Continues: attitude of villagers towards inmates; first sight of self in mirror; being cared for by Hungarian Red Cross; reaction to news of liberation of other concentration camps. Recollections of return to Budapest, 5/1945: searching for and reunion with mother; first meal at home; gradual recovery; learning that father had not survived. Recollections of emigration to Britain, 1946: reasons for emigration; attitude towards Russians and future treatment by USA and west during Cold War; attitude towards war today.
One of the most memorable elements of the Holocaust Exhibition is the video testimony by survivors which accompanies visitors along the route. But what happened to the survivors after the Second World War? How did they rebuild their lives in the years that followed their release from Nazi persecution?
As the Allies advanced across Europe at the end of the Second World War, they came across concentration camps filled with sick and starving prisoners. The first major camp to be liberated was Majdanek near Lublin, Poland in July 1944.