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Oral history interview with Tom Keleman

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2006.70.83 | RG Number: RG-50.583.0083

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    Oral history interview with Tom Keleman


    Interview Summary
    Tom Keleman, born September 7, 1929 in Budapest, Hungary, discusses his family background; being brought up as a German speaker; how anti-Jewish initiatives negatively affected his father’s career; his father being conscripted into the army as a Hungarian to lead a labor battalion, and then eventually being called up months later as a Jew; the start of the German occupation of Hungary on March 19, 1944; various family members working with the Jewish council before and during the German occupation; travelling to the Gestapo headquarters as a courier for the Jewish council; hearing hostages in the headquarters’ cellars; being aware of the deportations beginning in April 1944; carrying verbal messages to Jews in hiding throughout the city; a close call with his identification papers being checked by a policeman; the plans being formulated for Jews with foreign protection papers to be able to leave the city and be saved in early July 1944; hearing about August 28-29 as the date for the deportation of the remaining Budapest Jews; various deals being considered about the Jews; the takeover by the Arrow Cross in mid-October 1944; safe houses being set up; men between the ages of 16 and 60 being taken for "labor service", including his father; his whole family getting Swiss protection papers; how women were taken away during early November; working for the Red Cross; hearing that his house was going to be raided and upon his mother’s request, moving into a Red Cross safe house; trying to save his mother and aunt since they were under protection of the Red Cross, but being unable to find them; moving around to various safe houses; the Arrow Cross raiding their house in December 1944; the siege of Budapest; his family returning to their home; getting a job with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; illegally crossing into Austria; and immigrating to Australia.
    Tom Keleman
    interview:  1993 January 08
    Credit Line
    Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

    Physical Details

    1 sound cassette.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Permission must be obtained from the University of Sydney, Archive of Australian Judaica for any type of use other than research.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Keleman, Tom, 1929-

    Administrative Notes

    The Australian Institute of Holocaust Studies conducted the interview with Tom Keleman on January 8, 1993 for the Twelfth Hour Project. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received a copy of the interview in April 2006 from the State Library of New South Wales where the collection is housed.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:03:29
    This page:

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