Oral History: Transport

Clara Daniels
Hungarian Survivor

Clara was born in 1923 in Nyirkarasz, Hungary. By 1944, she was rounded up and transported to Auschwitz before being transferred to Dachau where she would eventually be liberated. Here she talks about the round-up and transport to Poland: 


I: Were there any efforts from you non-Jewish people?

C: Nothing. Nobody, nobody. 

I: You didn’t know of anything. 

C: Of course, they couldn’t do anything if they want to either, because then they would be in trouble too. 

I: Was there any acts of kindness from the guards or you don’t remember? 

C: No, no. Nobody tried to help, no. 

I: So was everyone transported out of the ghetto at the same time? 

C: Yeah, yeah. 

I: Those who were left. And this you said was in June? 

C: I think it was June, yeah. I don’t remember exactly what date. Ava told me what I forgot to write down, yeah. 

I: And so you walked out of the ghetto and you were taken to what? 

C: We walked out and they took us, there was some trucks there, trucks, you know. 

I: Trucks.

C: That you transferred furniture, whatever you transferred, you know, trucks. 

I: Like closed trucks or open? 

C: Open. 

I: Open trucks. 

C: But they took us to the trains, you know. 

I: And the trucks took you to where?

C: To the train.

I: Where was the train?

C: Kisvarda. 

I: To a station?

C: To a station, a train station. And the Germans, then the Germans took us over, not the Hungarians, the Germans was the guard. 

I: And what you, there, there was a train?

C: Yeah, when we walked on the train, you know, it wasn’t train like transfer people. This train was like to transfer packages or whatever you do, you know.

I: Freight. 

C: There was no, there was no seat on it, nothing, you know. 

I: It was a freight…

C: A train, yeah. And they have those little windows, you know, and they was closed up with barbed wire, you know these little windows, not like… And there was no seats in it. We have to stand up all the time, you know. No toilet. They have some dish there, you know. The Germans standing by. Because the Germans was on the train too. 

I: For eliminating something.

C: So you have to go to the bathroom and people see you when you go to the…in a dish, you know, something. And we couldn’t sit down. It’s like a herring, we were packed like. You know, they put in so many people, you know, to the train, you know. We were standing up laying on each other. 

I: Were you with your family? 

C: Yeah.

I: You all together.  

C: Right, right, right. I don’t know how we survived in the trip, you know. And that lasted, Ava said lasted about two or three days, I don’t remember exactly. Seems to me last at least for a week, you know. Because when you standing up, you know, and you don’t sleep nothing, you know, and practically you don’t eat hardly anything, you know. So it seems longer. 

I: Did the train ever stop? Do you remember?

C: Sometimes stopped for a few minutes, but we don’t got out. We couldn’t get out. The Germans got out or something, yeah. 

I: Did anyone die on this trip that you know?

C: Not as I know. Maybe died, I don’t remember. 

I: Did you have water, food?

C: Food, they give us something, some hot, but you couldn’t…. we were standing up, you know. They give something, a little water they give, yeah. That they give us some. I don’t know how often they give, you know, not all the time, you know, everything. 

I: What were you thinking? Do you remember?

C: You can’t think.

I: You can’t think. 

C: You, I was in the gaze. Because just, we don’t expected this, you know, we thought we stay there because Hitler was, Hungary was a friend, you know. There was all kind of restrictions and they took over everything, but we thought maybe we stay there. You know, we didn’t know because it was secret, you know, this was such a secret. We hear something that they took people someplace else, you know everything. And we thought there was such a good relationship, everything, and then suddenly they come and they take you, you know. You can’t even think clearly, you know. You can’t even feel.