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Oral history interview with Ilona Bártfai

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.288.22 | RG Number: RG-50.670.0022

Ilona Bártfai (Bártfai Imrene Páloji Ilona), born in 1930, discusses her relationship with a Jewish acquaintances and classmates in Hajdúhadház, Hungary; the peaceful relationship between the Jewish and non-Jewish community before the war; the implementation of antisemitic laws, such as the restriction against Jewish children attending the local middle school; hearing young boys sing antisemitic songs; hearing about a separate shelter for Jews during air raids; her memories of Jewish-owned stores closing and being looted; people from the town moving into vacant houses; seeing members of the Arrow Cross and Leventes guarding the ghetto; hearing about searches of Jewish-owned homes and businesses; the escape of a Jewish family; seeing Jews being taken to the ghetto by members of the Arrow Cross; her midwife aunt assisting in a childbirth in the ghetto after another midwife refused; watching the new mother with her baby walk to the train station from which they would be deported; recalling her aunt give care advice to the new mother; seeing a soldier threaten her aunt with deportation if she did not leave the area; her memory of women being forced to undergo body searches for valuables; seeing Jews crying and saying goodbye to onlookers; hearing onlookers voice their opposition to the deportation; her memory of trains full of people looking through windows, crying, and waving; the postwar return of some Jewish survivors; how some of the returning Jews received their belongings, houses and businesses back; hearing about the relocation of survivors to other cities; and learning about postwar trials of Hungarian war criminals in Debrecen.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Ilona Bártfai
Borbála Kriza
interview:  2012 January 15
1 videocassette (DVCAM) : sound, color ; 1/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2021-03-26 07:03:27
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