From mid-October 1944, Arrow Cross detachments would evacuated yellow-star houses and protected houses in Budapest's 13th district, march the residents to the riverbanks, force them to remove their shoes, then shoot them into the Danube. The precise number of victim is unknown. In Budapest, tens of thousands of people fell victim to the death marches and mass killings by Arrow Cross detachments, although the majority of Budapest Jews survived.
Description: From mid-October 1944, Arrow Cross detachments would evacuated yellow-star houses and protected houses in Budapest's 13th district, march the residents to the riverbanks, force them to remove their shoes, then shoot them into the Danube. The precise number of victim is unknown. In Budapest, tens of thousands of people fell victim to the death marches and mass killings by Arrow Cross detachments, although the majority of Budapest Jews survived.
Story: Mrs. L. Somorjai, March 27, 2014, on the yellow-star house where her family lived at Zichy Jenő Street 41 in Budapest's 6th district.
"I think a lot about the fact that every apartment and family had its own story which it hid, concealed, from fear or from shame, and then to forget, in the hope that it would still be possible to live a happy and normal life. Since I was born in 1952 and in this house, I grew up surrounded by the remaining people’s memories, as a precocious single child, paying great attention, but I could only know about our personal history. How we had been affected. And even then, only slowly, piecing the 'crossword puzzle' together, question by question. There was lots I understood, and lots I did not… rather, I sensed the authenticity from the unspoken words, the glances and deeds. It pains me that I do not know the OTHERS’ stories, that I cannot ask them, that I didn’t ask them. Slowly, we leave and take our stories. This is painful, so I will try to describe what I can still remember.
Mrs. Izidor Trenk was the owner of the house she had had built. When renting out the apartments, she tried to rent them to Israelites or those connected to Israelites, whom she trusted more. After the German occupation, only a few families remained from among the old tenants. The house had its own hierarchy. It was an apartment building with an inner walkway, with varying degrees of comfort, from apartments with just a kitchen, bathroom, and shared WC at the end of the corridor, to middle-class apartments with all the modern fittings.
MÁRTIKA, Mrs. József Malach, born Márta Trenk.
She was the owner’s cousin, who was given the largest and most beautiful apartment for her wedding by her grandmother, and which she then rented after the war. (They were our relatives on the right-hand side on the third floor.) Her husband was a Roman Catholic, a typewriter mechanic. He worked in a factory commandeered as part of the war effort, and so he was not conscripted. People in civilian clothing came for Márta, as they did for my Mother too. Her husband had broken his femur and was lying bed-bound in plaster at the time, helpless. The men told Márti to get dressed and pack. Uncle Józsi let himself down from the bed and slipped on the floor after them, right across the long entrance hall right up to the front door. 'Take me too, you butchers, I’ll die here anyway without my wife,' he shouted. The three men then left. From that point on, Mártika hid in the cellar among the coal. Her husband and my grandmother looked after her. She survived, but fell pregnant during this time, and on her husband’s request, the pregnancy was terminated. After that, she could never have children.
Ádám Fellegi and his parents also lived on the third floor, on the left-hand side from us. The father had been deported earlier and never returned to his family. Auntie Margit remained along with Ádám, who was around three years old. One dawn, their door was broken down and they were taken away in their nightgowns, with lots of other people to the Danube. They had to take their shoes off. A guard with a machine-gun stood next to them, sucking on a sweet. Ádám said to him:
'Mister, give me a sweet, I’m hungry!'
'Take your son and get lost,' hissed the man to Auntie Margit, who grabbed Ádám and started running away. A few moments they heard shooting behind them and when they looked back, the riverbank was already empty."