Auschwitz or elsewhere? #hungary


Rivka Nessim <rnessim@...>
 

Virtually all the information I have of my grandfather's family in Budapest
comes >from a letter received >from my great aunt after the war, which was
subsequently lost. My grandmother passed the information on to me orally,
and so far, all my research has confirmed the details she gave me. One
detail bewilders me and I wonder if any of you could throw light on it:

According to my grandmother, her sister in law wrote that after liberation
she had travelled to the camp and brought her mother back to Budapest. (My
g.aunt was married to a war veteran and for this reason was not deported
together with her parents.) Her mother, my great grandmother, died shortly
after. Until recently I assume my great grandparents were deported to
Ausschwitz.

I have been told however, that the above story is incredible, and physically
impossible: the countryside on the way to Auschwitz was one big war front,
and there were no passenger trains. How could a single woman have travelled
all that way and back in just a few days, crossing war zones, and on the
return trip burdened with a very frail, ill, elderly mother?

However, my great grandmother's death certificate does indeed indicate that
she died in Budapest shortly after liberation.

Could it be that some of the Jews of Budapest were taken to a transit camp
closer than Auschwitz? And would they have been able, >from there, to let
their as yet undeported family in Budapest know where they were?

Regards,

Rivka Nessim
Ramot HaShavim, Israel


David Deutsch <ddeutschca@...>
 

Rivka,

My father was in Auschwitz, where he, his parents, and younger sister
were deported to from, I think, Debrecen. Only my father survived, and
based on his description of events, and those of others who survived, I
believe the following happened:

As the Russian's approached, Auschwitz was hurriedly evacuated by the
Nazis, and many or all of the surviving inmates were forced to march on
foot great distance westward into the heart of remaining German-held
territory. Many died >from the forced march, which I believe took place
during winter weather. Those who survived ended up in concentration
camps in Germany proper (not sure if all survivors were put in the same
camp or distributed through assorted camps). My father ended up in
Dachau, where he was liberated by the Americans.

My point is that if your grand-aunt went to fetch your great-grandmother
*after* liberation of Auschwitz by the Russians, there wouldn't have
been anyone left in Auschwitz to fetch, even if all the other
considerations you cited hadn't been an issue as well (which of course
they were). It seems more likely that your great-grandmother somehow
survived the death march and ended up in Germany proper, where, after
liberation, she'd have been placed in in a DP camp, where your
grand-aunt would have been able to retrieve her.

Kind regards,

David Deutsch

Rivka Nessim wrote:

Virtually all the information I have of my grandfather's family in Budapest
comes >from a letter received >from my great aunt after the war, which was
subsequently lost. My grandmother passed the information on to me orally,
and so far, all my research has confirmed the details she gave me. One
detail bewilders me and I wonder if any of you could throw light on it:

According to my grandmother, her sister in law wrote that after liberation
she had travelled to the camp and brought her mother back to Budapest. (My
g.aunt was married to a war veteran and for this reason was not deported
together with her parents.) Her mother, my great grandmother, died shortly
after. Until recently I assume my great grandparents were deported to
Ausschwitz.

I have been told however, that the above story is incredible, and physically
impossible: the countryside on the way to Auschwitz was one big war front,
and there were no passenger trains. How could a single woman have travelled
all that way and back in just a few days, crossing war zones, and on the
return trip burdened with a very frail, ill, elderly mother?

However, my great grandmother's death certificate does indeed indicate that
she died in Budapest shortly after liberation.

Could it be that some of the Jews of Budapest were taken to a transit camp
closer than Auschwitz? And would they have been able, >from there, to let
their as yet undeported family in Budapest know where they were?

Regards,

Rivka Nessim
Ramot HaShavim, Israel


Ga'bor Hirsch <hirsch@...>
 

It is difficult to give a proper answer to Rivka Nissim's quuestion.
Person deported to Auschwitz only seldomly remained in there. In
majority in the cases they were distributed to many other camps. (my
mother in September to Stutthof, my girl cousin to Bergen-Belsen, my
cousin to Ravensbruck, I stayed in Auschwitz/Birkenau). Auschwitz itself
was a conglomeration of 39 camps. Auschwitz I the main camp. Auschwitz
II or Birkenau the camp were the Hungarian transports arrived and the
selection on the ramp took place. Auschwitz III with many working camps
like Monowitz or Buna an industrial plant of I.G. Farben.
The evacuation itself started already earlier, in October the BIII or
Mexico subcamp evacuated 12'799 women 961 girl were moved to BII c
subcamp, , block or barracks were dismantled and transferred inside
the "Reich" if I am correct to Bergen-Belsen. The endphase of the
evacuation started on 18. Januar.

"Approximately 65,000 prisoners initially evacuated trom Auschwitz were
sent in more than 130 transports to over ten concentration camps deep
within the Reich. The make up of individual transports are presented in
Appendix XVII. This information, assembled in table form, shows that the
largest percentage of evacuees were sent to KL Buchenwald (later KL
Dora-Mittelbau) and KL Flossenburg. Over 11,000 people were deported
from Auschwitz to each of these camps. Large groups were also sent to
Bergen-Belsen (over 3,700), Dachau (over 6,000), Gross-Rosen (at least
4,000), Mauthausen (almost 6,000), Natzweiler (around 3,500),
Ravensbruck (over 9,000), Sachsenhausen (around 2,200) and Neuengamme
(at least 750).
It has not been possible to establish the destinations of all the
transports evacuated >from Auschwitz, therefore the above mentioned
figures are only approximate and in some cases definitely lower than
they should be. The figure of 4,000 for prisoners sent in over 15
transports to Gross-Rosen seems to be particularly low."

The above lines are >from Andrzej Strzelecki's book "The evacuation,
dismantling and liberation of KL Auschwitz". In the various camps about
7000 inmates were liberated by the 60th. Army of the 1st. Ukrainan
Front commanded by General Pawel Kurozkin on the 27. January 1945.
The majority of the inmates were ill and weak and had to be treated, a
few were strong enough to start the journey home. A friend, 12 year old
twins of >from Hajduboszormeny, my uncle etc. so there was some chance to
return home and possible the other way too. The majority like me, were
taken to different places, in an earlier mail I listed several camps
(Hirek az elhurcoltakrol) were liberated inmates of different camps
waited several month for transports back home. (I returned Sept, 7 month
after liberation)

According my experiance, the most promising way was inquiery by the ITS
(International Tracing Service) a Red Cross organisation in Arolsen were
they collected and still collect information >from camps etc. of
deportees, prisoner of war, DP-s etc. It was in my mother's case more
effective as Yad Vashem.

International Tracing Service
Grosse Allee 5-9
34444 Arolsen
Germany

Holocaust and War Victims Tracing and Information Center
4700 Mount Hope Drive
Baltimore, MD 21215-3231
Phone: 410-764-5311
Fax: 410-764-4638

David Deutsch schrieb:

Rivka,

My father was in Auschwitz, where he, his parents, and younger sister
were deported to from, I think, Debrecen. Only my father survived, and
based on his description of events, and those of others who survived,
I believe the following happened:

As the Russian's approached, Auschwitz was hurriedly evacuated by the
Nazis, and many or all of the surviving inmates were forced to march
on foot great distance westward into the heart of remaining
German-held territory. Many died >from the forced march, which I
believe took place during winter weather. Those who survived ended up
in concentration camps in Germany proper (not sure if all survivors
were put in the same camp or distributed through assorted camps). My
father ended up in Dachau, where he was liberated by the Americans.

My point is that if your grand-aunt went to fetch your
great-grandmother *after* liberation of Auschwitz by the Russians,
there wouldn't have been anyone left in Auschwitz to fetch, even if
all the other considerations you cited hadn't been an issue as well
(which of course they were). It seems more likely that your
great-grandmother somehow survived the death march and ended up in
Germany proper, where, after liberation, she'd have been placed in in
a DP camp, where your grand-aunt would have been able to retrieve her.

Kind regards,

David Deutsch

Rivka Nessim wrote:

Virtually all the information I have of my grandfather's family in
Budapest
comes >from a letter received >from my great aunt after the war, which was
subsequently lost. My grandmother passed the information on to me
orally,
and so far, all my research has confirmed the details she gave me. One
detail bewilders me and I wonder if any of you could throw light on it:

According to my grandmother, her sister in law wrote that after
liberation
she had travelled to the camp and brought her mother back to
Budapest. (My
g.aunt was married to a war veteran and for this reason was not deported
together with her parents.) Her mother, my great grandmother, died
shortly
after. Until recently I assume my great grandparents were deported to
Ausschwitz.

I have been told however, that the above story is incredible, and
physically
impossible: the countryside on the way to Auschwitz was one big war
front,
and there were no passenger trains. How could a single woman have
travelled
all that way and back in just a few days, crossing war zones, and on the
return trip burdened with a very frail, ill, elderly mother?

However, my great grandmother's death certificate does indeed
indicate that
she died in Budapest shortly after liberation.

Could it be that some of the Jews of Budapest were taken to a transit
camp
closer than Auschwitz? And would they have been able, >from there, to let
their as yet undeported family in Budapest know where they were?

Regards,

Rivka Nessim
Ramot HaShavim, Israel


tom klein <h-sig@...>
 

i can't give you a definitive answer, but certainly not all hungarian jews were sent to auschwitz.

apart >from the men taken into the army's labour battalions, my mother's family, for example, were taken to austria as slave labourers.

and >from family anecdotes, the red army encircled budapest, but took its time entering the city, so the "front line" may have been quite some distance away by then. also, "after liberation" could mean many months later.

have you tried checking the records of the red cross? they kept records of both survivors and of subsequent inquiries, and were probably the source for locating your great grandmother.



....... tom klein, toronto

ps. exemptions to the deportations were rare. my grandfather was a decorated veteran, and an officer, but was deported anyway.


"Rivka Nessim" <rnessim@zahav.net.il> wrote:


Virtually all the information I have of my grandfather's family in
Budapest comes >from a letter received >from my great aunt after the
war, which was subsequently lost. My grandmother passed the
information on to me orally, and so far, all my research has
confirmed the details she gave me. One detail bewilders me and I
wonder if any of you could throw light on it:

According to my grandmother, her sister in law wrote that after
liberation she had travelled to the camp and brought her mother back
to Budapest. (My g.aunt was married to a war veteran and for this
reason was not deported together with her parents.) Her mother, my
great grandmother, died shortly after. Until recently I assume my
great grandparents were deported to Ausschwitz.

I have been told however, that the above story is incredible, and
physically impossible: the countryside on the way to Auschwitz was
one big war front, and there were no passenger trains. How could a
single woman have travelled all that way and back in just a few days,
crossing war zones, and on the return trip burdened with a very
frail, ill, elderly mother?

However, my great grandmother's death certificate does indeed
indicate that she died in Budapest shortly after liberation.

Could it be that some of the Jews of Budapest were taken to a transit
camp closer than Auschwitz? And would they have been able, from
there, to let their as yet undeported family in Budapest know where
they were?

Regards,

Rivka Nessim Ramot HaShavim, Israel