At midday, commemorations at Dob Street 52 (7th district) included a brief presentation of the Yellow-Star Houses project by Dr Éva Nádor, recollections from popular singer György Korda who lived in the house as a child in 1944, a performance of the folk song "Szól a kakas már" by opera singer Hajnal Székelyhidi, reading aloud an extract from Sándor Márai's 1943-44 diary, and cantor Zoltán Belz-Szilágyi singing "Belz mein Heimele" and reciting Kaddish.
Long Description: Éva Nádor, May 19, 2014, on the yellow-star house at Dob Street 52:
"My father Imre Nádor (Neuman) lived in the house at Dob Street 52. It's from here that he was taken away for so long. On September 1, 1940, he was taken on forced labor service from here via Vác to Transylvania, from where he was demobilized on March 31, 1941. Freedom didn't last long: on May 1, 1942, he was taken again via Vác to Ukraine, and from there on March 27, 1944, via Hungary to Mauthausen, where he was liberated on May 5, 1945. He arrived in Budapest on August 31, 1945. As one can see, this took four and a half years from his life. I knew this until now, but as I write it down, I shudder."
Story: László Varga, May 28, 2014, on the yellow-star house at Király Street 51 where he lived, and which mentions the well-known singer György Korda, who is standing behind the cantor in the video:
"'I was the shabbas goy.'
Recollections of László Varga (1939), former Király Street resident who today lives in Los Angeles.
Around December 26-27, 1944, we moved (escaped) into Király Street 51, having been bombed out of our home. Our first-floor apartment had earlier been inhabited by a doctor and his family, Dr. László Dávid, who escaped to the West in the wake of the Germans’ arrival. The house owner was Jakabffy, and the concierge was called Mrs. Hiller. The air raid superintendent was Alfréd Müller, or Frédi. It turned out after the war that his wife was Jewish, he had hidden her in the basement air raid shelter, and after 1956, they left for Israel.
The house was a “papal protected house,” it was under Vatican protection and was separated from the official ghetto by a total of one house. The two-meter-high separating palisade cut across the middle of the street. The ghetto was guarded and defended by the Hungarian Royal police. Where the Rossman pharmacist is today in the house, that’s where the police station and repair workshops (shoes, furrier, tailors, bootmakers, etc.) were, to where Jewish workers came from the ghetto to work. Once, a couple of Arrow Cross men came from the Arrow Cross house on the Boulevard, the Royal Hotel, and took three workers away from the workshop, who were later brought back to the ghetto by the police.
When we moved into the house, the Russians were somewhere around the City Park line, and the house was liberated around January 13-14. They came from Dob Street and entered via the large back gate of the house which faced onto Akácfa Street, the sign said Akácfa Street 62. At that point the large gate was still there, but it’s not there any more. This is where the cars and lorries came into the courtyard, and from where Jews were gathered and taken into forced labor service in the fall of 1944.
There were many small shops and workshops on the ground floor of the house, and after the war, they were merged and turned into a textile factory, called the Béke [Peace]. There was also a delicatessen, the Ádám deli, and a hairdresser’s (the owner was called Marsi), the Kerekes “fine confectioner’s,” and the Vogel family’s spice shop. There was also a feather business in a basement opening onto the street, which was hit by a small Russian bomb in 1945.
When the ghetto was established, a huge amount of many people tried to stay here, refuges were sitting in the stairwell, at the front gate, and on the landings, but whoever had no ID papers was taken into the ghetto. Dr. Varga and his family were Christians (they had the same name as us), and their daughter was interned after the war for half a year, because when the Arrow Cross came into the house and gathered up all those without ID papers and made them stand in the courtyard the daughter, who was 16 years old at the time, went out onto the corridor and shouted at the Arrow Cross men that there were still a few left, and one in hiding.
I remember many of our Jewish neighbors. The Guttman family lived on the mezzanine floor, and the Krammer family on the first. In the corner on the first floor lived the Löffler family, their two children never came back, and Mr. Löffler lost his mind, he kept on repeating a name louder and louder, apparently it was the name of the camp commander because of whom his children died: “Rupi Teng, Rupi Teng!” He would come up the stairs, chanting this over and over, and we, the children, copied him.
On the second floor lived Magda Forbáth, a revue dancer.
On the first floor also lived the Fürst family, doctor László Fürst, the famous pulmonologist and his wife Magda, who was his assistant. When people were collected up from Akácfa Street and taken into the ghetto, it was Magda who looked of the window and saw what was going on, and this Arrow Cross adolescent on the street shouted at her, “right, enough staring, Jewish bitch,” and shot her in the shoulder. The Fürsts worked at the Rókus hospital, we stayed on good terms with them for many years, and my mother was good friends with Magda Fürst.
On the first floor in the corner lived doctor Lénárd, the famous professor of ophthalmology, and after the war he only had one room left, as the Magaziner family moved in, Mr. Magaziner was a successful art-dealer. Even Father Balogh went to him to buy pieces (and as my grandmother always used to say when she saw Father Balogh, “here comes the big fat shit-barrel.”) And then once a young man arrived in British uniform without lapels, looking for the Magaziners: it was their son who had returned from Mauthausen, he had been liberated by the British.
The dentist Weisz also lived on the first floor with his daughter who was also a dentist, and then at the end of ’45 or in ’46, she committed suicide.
Aladár Blau lived on the third floor, and after the war, around 1950, he married a lady who had a son, Tomi Hirschler, and he still lives here today. He lost his father, who was diabetic, during the war. Tomi’s mother put him in a Red Cross orphanage, but the orphanage was moved to the ghetto, and Tomi ended up with around 500 other children in the Klauzál Square market hall, they slept on straw mattresses on the floor in the terrible cold.
I remember Pál Kis’s photo displays in large glass cases on either side of the front gate, they were full of advertisement photos, and then after the siege, they removed the glass and used them in the windows and the window displays facing on the street. But I never knew whether Pál Kis was Jewish, I didn’t know him, only his brother Sándor.
Miklós Hartmann, the cantor at the Jewish orphanage, also lived here, and his wife was called Eszter Polák. They had three sons, Robi, Gabi, and Jóska, who was born after the war. I always got American chocolate from them, because their father worked in the orphanage. I had to help them on many occasions, bringing back holy day wigs from the hairdresser’s for which I was given two forints (religious Jewish ladies had different wigs for weekdays and holy days). And I was the shabbas goy too: every Thursday I collected up sholet pots from the corridor and put them in a stroller which had the top removed and was lined with a wooden board. The sholet pots were covered and tied up in newspaper, with the family’s name on it, and I had to pull it to the baker’s on Dob Street, Dob Street 50, where my classmate Gyuri Klein lived, and who later became [the singer] György Korda. On Friday at midday after school (we went to the Kertész Street elementary school) I brought them back from the baker’s and distributed the pots. I also learned the daven, baruch atah Adonai … and then they’d say, now you can go son, here’s your two forints. I blew out the candles on Friday evenings as well, because the gas had to be turned off. And this is how things were until 1950 or 1951, and then gradually came to an end. You couldn’t talk about these things any more."