György K. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4091) interviewed by Péter Popper,
Videotape testimony of György K., a prize-winning author, who was born in Debrecen, Hungary in 1933, the second of two children. He describes his sheltered, pleasant childhood in an affluent home in Berettyóújfalu; his large extended family; celebrating Jewish holidays; large family gatherings at his home and in Oradea; not attending school until age ten when he first encountered Christian children; deportation of Jewish men for forced labor; German invasion in 1944; anti-Jewish restrictions, including confiscation of the family business and valuables and wearing the star; his parents' arrests on May 15; visiting them once; their deportation, in error, to Austria (they were supposed to have been sent to Auschwitz): his mother's sister inviting him and his sister to join them in Budapest; his father's non-Jewish friends arranging the trip for him and his sister; arrival at their aunt's home on June 6; hiding in his uncle's factory in October; his aunt obtaining Swiss documents in November; moving to a safe house; Arrow Cross (Nyilas) removing Jews; learning they were shooting them into the Danube; an Arrow Cross shooting an elderly man in their house, then holding a gun to Mr. K.'s head, but not shooting him; liberation by Soviet troops; returning to Berettyóújfalu a month later; learning the Jews who had remained had been killed in Auschwitz; living with a cousin in Oradea for a month; his parents' return; completing his education; his political activities, some leading to arrests; his marriages; the births of his children; and other details of his personal life. Mr. K. discusses his novels; always including a version of himself and his experiences in them; brief arrest for the book written with Ivan Szelenyi; beginning to write about his childhood when he was in his fifties; banning of his work in Hungary; living in Germany, France and elsewhere; his presidency of International PEN; his fame providing protection in Hungary; and his identity both as a Hungarian and a Jew.
- Israel : Words & Images, 1995
- Interview Date
- September 18, 1995.
- 2 copies: Betacam SP dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
- Cite As
- György K. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4091). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.