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Imre Gross memoir

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2015.497.1

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    Imre Gross memoir

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    Memoir, typescript, 129 page, written by Imre Gross (Emery Robert), describing his childhood and youth in Hungary, his conscription into a forced labor battalion between 1942-1944, his imprisonment by the Arrow Cross and subsequent escape and hiding in Budapest, liberation, and return to his hometown in 1945. Also described are his experiences in the immediate postwar years, including reunion with his father and sister, university studies, and emigration from Hungary in 1946, life as a displaced person in Germany for three years, and immigration to the United States in 1949.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rose Gross
    Collection Creator
    Imre Gross
    Imre Gross was born in Szoboszló, Hungary in 1921, the son of Lajos and Etta Gross. Imre's parents had each had previous spouses who had died, and had one child each prior to their marriage (Laszlo and Iren). After settling in Szoboszló (Hajdúszoboszló), they had a son, Imre, and a daughter, Rozsi (Rose), born in 1924. Imre attended school first in Szoboszló, and then later at a Jewish secondary school in Debrecen. Wishing to study medicine, he sought to attend the medical school at the university there, but was denied admission based on the small Jewish quota, and he studied law instead (while surreptitiously taking course in medicine). In 1942 he was conscripted into military service and assigned to a forced labor battalion, initially based at a camp in Hajdúhadház, and then the following year in Kőbánya, near Budapest, where he worked in support of the planning and construction of airstrips around Hungary. After the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, he was transferred to Szokolya, where he and several other soldiers plotted to escape and return to Budapest, which after creating false identfication documents, they managed to do. Gross was caught in Budapest by an Arrow Cross soldier who turned him over to the Gestapo, who after torturing him, returned him to Arrow Cross custody, and he was jailed there for several weeks, until managing to escape and return to hiding, and eventually, he found his way to the Swiss Legation and obtained a protective passport (Schutzpass), and remained there until Soviet forces liberated Budapest in January 1945. Following liberation, he returned to Szoboszló, and resumed his studies in law at Tisza Istvan University in Debrecen, while also pursuing graduate studies in chemisty at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania. In that time, his father and sister, both of whom had been deported to Auschwitz and subsequently worked in forced labor camps, returned to Szoboszló, and he learned that his mother, and his older half-sister, Irena, and her children, Peter and Anicko Scillag, had been deported to Auschwitz and had perished there, while his half-brother, Laszlo, had died while serving with Hungarian forces on the Eastern Front in 1943. He and Rozsi left Hungary in 1946, immigrated via Austria and Germany to the United States in 1949, where they settled in Chicago. He subsequently changed his name to Emery Robert, and practiced medicine in Chicago as a neurologist.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
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    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Gift of Rose Gross, 2015.
    Record last modified:
    2023-07-05 15:21:54
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