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Hungarian officials tour Hajduhadhaz labor camp

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2013.519 | RG Number: RG-60.1478 | Film ID: 3900

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    Hungarian officials tour Hajduhadhaz labor camp


    Andras Galambos and fellow laborer Ladislaus Radnai documented their Jewish forced labor battalion's efforts with still and motion picture cameras. This film shows an official visit of politicians and military officers to Hajduhadhaz labor camp, likely for an exhibition of the laborers' photographs. Several high-ranking officials are probably pictured, including Defense Minister Karoly Beregffy, General Geza Lakatos, and politician Lajos Szasz.

    Cars approaching Hajduhadhaz labor camp on a country road. Small railcar with Hungarian flags and personnel. Official exits car. Men in uniforms and civilian clothes shake hands and salute. 01:00:40 "Stein Hozott!" flowered banner. Officials tour camp. Jewish forced laborers with armbands continue to work building fortifications in preparation for the impending Soviet invasion. CUs Hungarian flags waving and building decorated for official visit of politicians and military officers in 1944. Group continues tour of camp. 01:01:12 CUs of two officials talking, possibly Minister of Defense Karoly Beregffy in the military uniform on the right. Laborers digging in BG. Filming from horse-drawn carriage, watch tower with flag in the distance along the dirt road. Officials congregate near watch tower. Windy day. Officials load into cars and drive away in the barren landscape. 01:03:03 Barracks and camp grounds. Officials inspect construction site, illegible sign. Tents decorated for official visit beside a church and huge flag. Quick view of laborers in white uniforms (waiters and waitress?) looking at the camera. LS, official cars depart. Hungarian flags.
    Film Collection Title
    Andras Galambos Collection
    Event:  Summer 1944
    Hajduhadhaz, Hungary
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of the Gerrard Family
    Camera Operator: Andras Galambos
    Subject: Andras Galambos
    Andras Galambos (later Andrew Gerrard) was born on June 15, 1918 in Toroszentmiklos, Hungary. His father, a flour mill owner, died in 1936, leaving behind Andras, wife Zelma, and daughter Anne. Zelma and Andras stayed in Hungary while Anne, her husband Paul Somogyi, and their young son Peter immigrated to Australia in 1939. Andras studied law at the University of Szeged and after graduation, enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program at the Technical University in Budapest in order to avoid military service. But in fall 1942, he was drafted into a Jewish forced labor battalion. Battalion officers relied on Andras for repairs and general office work, exempting him from physically demanding work. In the winter of 1942-43, the battalion-excluding Andras and several officers-was sent to the Eastern Front to combat the Soviet Army. Andras was released from military service in Sept. 1943 to continue his studies in Budapest. On March 20, 1944 the Germans occupied Hungary, and Andras was again drafted into a Jewish forced labor battalion to construct air raid shelters. The battalion relocated to Hajduhadhaz in eastern Hungary to build concrete bunkers, fortifications, and a branch line to facilitate transportations. In Hajduhadhaz, Andras reconnected with a former classmate and amateur photographer, Ladislaus Radnai. They proposed documenting the battalion's war efforts with still and motion picture cameras to their commander who loved the idea and often excused the two men from physical labor. The commander even hosted an exhibition of their work. In October 1944, following the Soviet advance, the battalion's Hungarian officers fled Hajduhadhaz camp. The slave laborers were moved several times over the next several weeks, eventually making it to Szolnok to repair bomb-damaged rail lines. In Szolnok, Andras obtained a radio from relatives and became the battalion's unofficial radio operator. Andras decided to escape a train with fellow laborers bound for Austria and head for Budapest under the protection of Swedish papers his mother had obtained for him. Back in Budapest, Andras discovered that his mother Zelma had narrowly escaped deportation by sneaking out of a line of detained people. Andras formed a fake military unit with other young Jewish men to avoid being drafted again. After days of marching through the streets pretending to perform civil work, the "unit" was detained by German military police and deported. Andras was again saved by his Swedish papers, as Raoul Wallenberg happened to be at the train station demanding the release of all Jews with a Schutz Pass. Andras and his mother then took refuge as employees in a hospital in Budapest that fell under the auspice of the Swedish Embassy (Andras was an orderly and Zelma became a cook). They witnessed food and water shortages, atrocities by the Arrow Cross, and the siege of the city. The Soviet Army liberated Budapest in January 1945. In 1948, Andras and his mother joined Anne and her family in Australia.

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    01:00:06:00 to 01:03:59:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 3900 Film: positive - 8 mm - color
      Master 3900 Video: HDCam - color - NTSC - small
      Master 3900 Film: positive - 8 mm - color
      Master 3900 Video: HDCam - color - NTSC - small
      Master 3900 Film: positive - 8 mm - color
      Master 3900 Video: HDCam - color - NTSC - small
      Master 3900 Film: positive - 8 mm - color
      Master 3900 Video: HDCam - color - NTSC - small

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Conditions on Use
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum places no restrictions on use of this material. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this film footage.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Source
    John Gerrard
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 5700
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:06:53
    This page:

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