Hungarian Jewish service in Munkaszolgalat in WWII #romania #holocaust #hungary

Seth Jacobson

Our family is looking for testimonies from Hungarian Jewish men who served as “conscripted slaves” in the labor service of the Hungarian army, “Munkaszolgalat”, in unit 108/16 from 1942.

Seth Jacobson


Dear Mr Jacobson                                                23rd March 2023

My -VP-late father--Mor-Moishe Friedman
D.O.B.-- 3rd November 1901---TARCAL--Hungary
( Friedmann)
was in Labour Camp--Munkaszolgalat
to my knowledge for four and a half years.

Liberated by The American Army
on the 4th May--by Commander BING?
He endured the Long March
together with two of his friends
from the same village TARCAL ---
geographical location--in Hungary
( By the Mountain--Kopasz/  ('Bold-Mountain)
--Tokaj Valley--)
Mauthausen   to  Gunskirchen

From the three of them:
Unfortunately --
one of my late father's friend
was too weak to walk

This unfortunate friend was gunned down by the NAZI's

My late father and his other friend--
reached the gates of Gunskirchen 
when the Liberating American Army arrived 

The Nazi's fled and started to shoot discriminately
leaving  countless dead human bodies behind

My late father -collapsed nearby the gate
His Only friend--
from the same village TARCAL was able to flee
the bombing--shooting

The American Army entered -
Checked all the dead human bodies
for any signs of life--like a twinkle in the eyes
before  the Dead were transported to the mortuary

My father's friend
after the bombing stopped
returned --to the Main Gate--
and looked for my father.

With the human attentiveness
of the liberating  American Army
The friend learned--
that my father was taken to an American Army Hospital

My father's --run down human body
--a living skeleton--
was fed on Babby Food
within the  American Army Hospital
and nursed back to life

After a few weeks in hospital
My father was given/presented
with some new clothing
some money--
his   human body weight --36 KG
was  relatively  'fit'  to go back to Hungary/Tarcal

My father;
still extremely weak commenced his long journey
back to Tarcal-Hungary
Hoping to find--his wife--nee Aranka Braun and two sons
His Parents--and sibling alive.

The factual reality was--His wife and two sons
his parents and many siblings were
Transported  to Auschwitz --
via  Satoraljaujhely/Kassa--Kosice
and  Killed--Gassed.

My father's friend-I recall his name as
Mr Lowy--00972 0361 8679--??
emigrated to Israel and
Wrote a book --in IVRIT

Mr Jacobson/Jews Gen, 
One of my friend a Mrs Blumenthal
lives in  the USA; she may have the book

My father never forgot--
remained indebted
to the Liberating American Soldier's.

As My father personally  experienced their
Tender loving care..
The way the liberating American Army
attended to the countless injured -
emotionally traumatised, physically  injured
Human beings.

My father always remembered 
spoke about the Liberating American Army
with tears in his eyes.

My father maintained :
The Liberating American Army;
their extra-ordinary humanity
my father and many other 
captured  /Munkaszolgalatos--would of not survived.

Thank you Jewish GEN/Mr Jacobson
for keeping their memories alive

Wishing you All
Countless, Blessed Health Years Ahead

Kind regards
Veronika Pachtinger
London United Kingdom


Finding specific unit testimonies is difficult, but my notes, below, may assist:

Tom Beer



Fodor, Andrew. The Survivor’s Song: Unarmed Soldiers – Budapest to Stalingrad and Back, 2012, ISBN – 13:978 1475199574

Vajda, Tibor Hope Dies Last - a story of survival in fascist Hungary, Scribe Publications, Melbourne, 2000

Varga Ervin, Hidegseg, Belvarosi Konyvkiado, Budapest, 2000 ISBN 9639114278 in English as:

Varga, E, Living and Dying in Hungary, Xlibris Corporation, 2012    ISBN 9781479722914

The Raoul Wallenberg Project Interviews.  These were on the internet from 1997 to 2002 at

Testimonies 514, 528 and 531 dealt with forced labour battalions.

Testimony 528 is from a survivor born in 1913 who was sent to Russia.  Testimony 514 is from a survivor born in 1922; Testimony 531 is from a survivor born in 1921.  These younger forced labourers were not sent to Russia.  Testimony 554 is from a survivor born in 1924 who was not sent outside Hungary. His forced labour battalion was involved in the defence of Budapest in 1944.

Testimony 512 from a survivor born in 1908 deals with the 1941 call-up to Czechoslovakia and the events in Kamenets-Podolsk.  An especially moving and memorable description was given of the young soldier bursting in on a peasant hut and finding an elderly Jewish couple sitting there in their kittels.  As he explained – the kittel is the shroud in which you are buried[1].  They were just sitting there expecting to be killed.

Testimony 504 is from a lady born in 1925.  Her father, who was born in 1896 was drafted in 1938. 


[1] Some communities also wear their kittel on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.

Tom Beer

Susanna Vendel

About my father's Munkaszolgalat in Budapest. Battalion 102/96

My father, Fehér György, left some pages about his life during the WW2. He was born in 1924 in Szalonta (Transsylvania) and during WW2 the region was part of Hungary.

In 1942 he received a recruitment order. He was 18 y and all Jewish man between 18 - 50 had to show up in Baia Mare for "work service". There they were divided in work battalions. My father's battalion got the no 5 and was send to Budapest as Lego század (antiaircraft battalion). Their task was to clean after bombings, to build strategic roads and to unload ammunitions wagons.

Arrived to Budapest the name of the number of the battalion was changed to 102/96 and they were accomodated in a big school on Hungaria körút 170-172. At that time, there were two types of work camps: "Yellow" formed only by Jews, and "White" formed by people of different religions, mixed marriages, converted families, etc. His battalion was "yellow" and among the interns were some young men from very rich families.

in September 1944 went rumors that all "yellow" camps will be moved to Northern Hungary and from there to Germany. The families of these rich young men ,through contacts got in touch with the Cardinal Mindszenti to ask him for help. The solution to procrastinate the dissolution of the camp was the baptism of the whole battalion. So on15th of September they were baptized and each of the interns received a Baptism Certificate (I still have my father's).

Unfortunately this measure did not helped and some time after that the interns have to gather in the camp yard for further transportation.

A high wall separated the camp from the "Ferences Mária Misszionarius Növérek" - nunnery on Hermina út 19. In a moment of inattention on the part of the guards my father jumped over the wall and got help to be hidden by the nuns in their celler. He met there a lot of people who were in hiding. These nuns saved my father's and many other people's life.

The nunnery is still there on the old address. I visited it in 2018 to thank them that the line of the family on my father's side could continue with me, our son and our two wonderful grandsons.

Susanna Vendel, 
Stockholm, Sweden