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American Annals of the Deaf

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Deaf People in Hitler's Europe

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                                                 Judit Konig proudly displays her yellow star.
                                                 Courtesy of Judit Konig, Budapest.

Judit Konig: The Budapest Ghetto

From the throes of death we escaped three times . . . . I cannot describe. My life was very sad indeed. We were, on November 4, 1944, we had papers. We were walking . . . with a pass—authorized pass. One of the deaf people, I am grateful to him. It turns out that the pass originated from Raoul Wallenberg. My mother paid a lot of money to get this certificate. I cannot describe . . . . When they took us to the Mexico Street, on the whole way . . . we had to walk with raised arms. Everything that was on us was stolen . . . . For fourteen days, we were in semi-prisoner status. Mrs. Galambos, my friend, she had a tiny infant. In this house we were, to tell you the truth, I admit we were stealing, because every house we went in we ripped whatever we could and we turned it into diapers and whatever we needed. But, thank God, we survived. Now that infant is 54 years old, I’ll never forget . . . . The Arrow Cross was coming and we were alive . . . . They found us and took us to the ghetto . . . . We wanted to stay together, but it didn’t succeed. They [Arrow Cross] put them on a train [but] I disappeared—from the—I knew what would happen to me if I got on that train.

[Later recaptured and marched to the Danube River] I was shot three times in three different places of my body. I had a very sad life. It destroyed my life . . . . I can’t talk more about this, it hurts. I would like to finish this, I don’t have any family. I’m all alone, all alone. It’s horrible . . . I don’t want to talk about anything anymore. Thank you very much.

Miklos Klein

Deaf Members of the Arrow Cross

They never helped us. When I was in Budapest, I was hiding all over the place. They were hunting down the deaf [sic]. . . He [deaf member of Arrow Cross] was looking for Jewish families. He would arrest Jews and expropriate their valuables. He always wore a weapon and an armband. [His] wife went to school with me. His wife happened to be Jewish. One day I met him and he asked me, “What are you going to do—What are you looking for?” I told him he’d better watch out because I was strong . . . [but, he] was just laughing. I told him to be careful, “Your wife is Jewish, don’t do anything foolish.” He was really stealing a lot of valuable suitcases, but he was, he had a lot of suitcase—He was a robber. Four or five deaf were with him together in this. I don’t know where they took all the stuff that they stole. But this is what I could remember of him and his gang.

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