Ibolya Ginsburg, Pásztó, Hungary, 1944:

"I will tell you exactly: the Germans came in the day after Pesach & we arrived in Auschwitz the first day of #Shavuot, so that was six weeks. In six weeks they came in, they put us in the ghetto & they took us out…"

1/12 Image
"We went out on horse & cart. The station was emptied of all inhabitants. These long cattle wagons were standing next to the platform. They were open & there was nothing in them, on the floor, the corner was partitioned off with blankets & there were buckets for our needs…"
"In another corner they had some buckets with clean water to drink. We had to climb in these wagons, they said around 70 per wagon. You just go up, & carry your luggage. We put it down & we sat around on the floor. I sat opposite the door, we sort of sat in a half circle…"

"I had my sister & my aunts there, & father & mother opposite & between them the 2 children, the young ones. I was 19. Judith, my sister was 13, there was Rachel, 10, & Miriam, 7, when they took us. Before they closed the wagons they said, 'Pick 10 men to be in charge'…"

"I still had a watch on my hand, from my boyfriend. An old Hungarian soldier said 'You know you can't have that. You must take it off.' He probably just pocketed it. When I took that off I had this premonition that I shall never see my boyfriend again. 72 of us in the wagon…"
"It took ages until he shut this wagon with this bang, & locked us in. This deathly silence, the children, the babies, all the ill people. Eventually we start moving, this clatter & this movement. Then it gathered speed, the train went so fast, so noisy for the whole 3 days…"
"I couldn’t have a decent conversation with my mother or father, we just sat there. Every so often she would dole us out some food. There were little cracks, we would look out & say, 'We just passed a station.' We didn’t know where we were going, so some of the men…"

"…stood on top of one another’s shoulders, to reach those little things in the wagon, you know, where the air came in. They stood there, finally a station came, they read it, & another one & another one. We pretty soon found out that they are not taking us to Germany at all…"
"We were going across Slovakia. On the second night we stopped late at night, about a mile out from a station. They opened the wagons & took water for the train & took out the dirty buckets & we got fresh water. On the third night the same thing happened…"
"All these 3 days we couldn’t sleep properly lying down, we were hunched up together, but we slept & the noise & the rattle was terrible. Luckily nobody died in the wagon. Occasionally you heard a baby cry, the children were so good & quiet. People were full of foreboding…"
"'Where are they taking us? What are they going to do with us?' It showed on the children, this terrible fright & panic. The third morning I woke up in the dark. What woke me up? The train stopped & it was quiet. I lay there & I realised that we must have arrived somewhere."
Very sadly, only Ibolya, her sister Judith & father survived. The rest of the family were murdered soon after their arrival in Auschwitz.

The photos show Ibolya with her mother Emily Davidovitch, Pásztó, 1927 + Ibolya in 2004.

Read more about Ibolya: ajrrefugeevoices.org.uk/RefugeeVoices/… Image

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with AJR Refugee Voices Archive

AJR Refugee Voices Archive Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @AJRefugeeVoices

May 24
Berlin, 1938. Ralph Steiner, 4, is sent to Switzerland:

"I had a very fortunate time. With all the horror that was due to start, I was the most fortunate & had a wonderful life due to my mother’s foresight & wisdom. Absolutely brilliant, the way that woman thought…"

1/16 ImageImage
"She was 28 when all the troubles started, she then decided to ship me away with my nanny so that she could then organise the company, her parents, her grandparents, & organise everything in peace & quiet. She managed to get containers & put all the furniture & everything away…"
"She was warned that the Nazis were on their way. From that day she started to make a move & get everything organised which she did remarkably well. But shipped me out of the way with my Dete, my nanny. So, I was out, and she could then concentrate on getting visas & paperwork…"
Read 16 tweets
May 23
Rolf Penzias grew up in Munich:

"I remember Hitler driving up & down the Maximilianstrasse with his Mercedes, before 1933. When he got into power he had his escort of Stormtroopers. Imagine an open bus with seats either side, with safety belts, but they could jump off…"

1/8 Image
"8 people each side. They would go into a crowd & disperse them. Oh yes, that was already 1934. The SR or the SS strapped in there, going to action in the cars. Oh, yeah. There was no way you could demonstrate anymore against Hitler…"

"In 1935 there was a festival: Haus der Deutsche Kunst. They started up a new sort of museum with pictures & statues inside. For the inauguration: a big procession coming along the road, showing them off to people. People lined the streets. My parents & I were there…"

Read 9 tweets
May 2
Joanna Millan (age 3), Theresienstadt, May 1945:

"My first memories are very hazy: being very scared; being on a plane. Nobody had told me I was liberated. Leaving the camp was bad news; no one ever came back, obviously. So leaving, going on a plane to who knows where…"

1/9 Image
"Didn’t know what was going on. It was really, really frightening. Those bombers: really noisy & with no seats. Very dark. So that’s sort of got… in my mind. Cause every day in the camp was the same. I was very weak, very sick a lot of the time. It was just a matter of survival"
"You didn’t really think about anything. So that was really frightening. When the Russians came they were just in different uniform. We didn’t know if they were good people or not good people. You know, so… Just nobody bothered to tell us; we were just little children…"

Read 9 tweets
Mar 28
#OTD in 1944 Waldemar Ginsburg was living in the Kovno ghetto.

"On the 28th of March a detachment of Ukrainian militia walked in with orders to eliminate, not only the children, but anybody who was non-productive, which means the old, the sick, the ill, the disabled…"

"We were at work, I don’t know what would have happened if we'd have been there, if the able-bodied bodied men had been in the camp, but we were at work. In the most cruel manner, babies were separated from their mothers, some mothers were shot, some went with their children…"
"They were thrown into wagons, into lorries, the old & the sick were also forced in. It was a bloodbath. They were taken to a local spot where they were executed. We had heard rumours before about this so-called Children’s Action. There was a terrible panic in the ghetto…"

Read 10 tweets
Mar 24
1947: After liberation, Judith Steinberg moves from Hungary to London & works in a garment factory.

"The boss, Mr Green, was an old either Polish or Russian Jew, spoke broken English. I asked him if I could have Friday off because of Shabbos. I spoke in German…"

"I couldn’t speak English. He said, ‘How come you speak German?’ He says it to me in Yiddish. ‘You speak German & you keep Shabbos?’ He couldn’t understand why I didn't speak Yiddish but I kept Shabbos. I said, ‘It doesn’t matter what I speak, I always kept Shabbos!’"

"Then he said, ‘Well if you survived in the war & you keep Shabbos, you deserve to take your time off & I'll pay you for it!’ But they didn't pay, obviously.

It was very exciting to be in Britain. I felt strange, I didn’t speak the language & I was so excited being here…"

Read 9 tweets
Mar 23
Yesterday marked the anniversary of the establishment of Dachau in 1933. Willy Field was imprisoned there in 1938.

"It was a dreadful place. A terrible incident happened: Every morning & every night they had a roll call. We were counted. We had to stand in blocks of ten…"

"One morning a man was missing. They made us stand for over a day & night in the cold weather until they found who was missing. That night they shunted away in a wagon about 40 or 50 people who could not stand the cold, who could not stand any more standing there for 72 hours…"
"The man was later found in the toilet. What happened to him we never knew. 40 to 50 people died. A dreadful place. Some people couldn't take it. They used to get out at night & try to escape. They didn't really want to escape so they ran against the electric wire…"

Read 10 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!