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Oral history interview with József Fodor

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.288.34 | RG Number: RG-50.670.0034

József Fodor, born in 1926 in Karcag, Hungary, discusses the contemptuous relationship between boys of different religions at school in Budapest; the popular belief among his peers that Jews killed Jesus; seeing Jewish forced laborers; being mocked by other kids who said he “must be a Jew” after an airplane mechanic school rejected his application; his family’s move to Szentendre in 1941, where he noticed the disappearance of Jews upon his return from labor service; learning from his parents that the town’s Jews were gathered at the brick factory in Bekasmegyer in Budapest; the return of only three Jewish families after the war; being taught antisemitic ideologies at school; how Jewish students were prohibited from participating in exercises and had to do demeaning, worthless jobs; being disciplined by his father for singing an antisemitic song; knowing members of the Arrow Cross; witnessing pro-Szalasi actions; his sister’s friendship with Szalasi’s daughter; a Jewish doctor who treated everyone free of charge; his father’s advise to a Jewish watchmaker to flee instead of moving into the Csillaghegy ghetto; being assigned on a unit to clean and repair railways from Ferencvaros station in Budapest to Felvidek, in Upper Hungary; receiving the same food and treatment as the Jewish labor unit; his interactions with Jews from Transylvania who were being transported in overcrowded wagons to concentration camps in Poland and Germany; witnessing members of the Arrow Cross abuse a train conductor who refused to drive a train full of deportees because they were being denied water and sanitary conditions; some of the railway staff who joined the Arrow Cross Party; interactions between gendarmes and railway employees; interacting with groups of Jews who were kept at the train station for days before they were transported; purchasing items at the station’s shops on their behalf; being apprehended by the Arrow Cross after he was caught keeping flyers of Janos Voros; escaping to a labor group in Pest; witnessing three Arrow Cross soldiers attack and murder two Jewish men; hearing antisemitic remarks from other workers when he discussed the terrible conditions for Jews during their deportation; witnessing members of the Arrow Cross search for Jews in Teleki Square market in Budapest; the restitution of homes and business for some Jews who returned after the war; recording his memories in his biography; and an incident that occurred a decade ago at a conference in Hungary where someone made an openly pro-Hitler statement.

József Fodor
Borbála Kriza
interview:  2012 June 04
2 videocassettes (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: 2021-02-19 10:30:47
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