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Oral history interview with Judith Konrad

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1285.25 | RG Number: RG-50.149.0025

Judith Konrad describes life in Budapest, Hungary during the 1930s; her Jewish education; encountering antisemitism; her awareness of events in Germany and Austria; the political beliefs of her parents; life in Budapest after 1939; the impact of anti-Jewish legislation on her father's business; restrictions against Jews; wearing the yellow star; the deportation of a number of Jews, including her father's family and their fates; their knowledge of concentration camps; the confiscation of her family home; food rations; their accommodations in a yellow star house; obtaining extra food by working in kitchens for Germans; her mother's success in obtaining Christian ID papers; working as a maid for a Hungarian Christian; returning to Budapest to protect her mother; meeting with her father before her deportation in October 1944; the fate of her mother; her work digging tank tracks on the outskirts of Buda; a five day march to Austria in October 1944; the poor treatment of teenage boys; the reaction of civilians to marching prisoners; trading valuables for food; her comparison of Germans and the Hungarian Arrow Cross; coping with freezing conditions; medical problems; her internment at Lichtenworth concentration camp beginning in November 1944; the camp commandant and conditions in the camp, including the food rations, sanitation, the disposal of camp dead, the camp’s medical facilities, and roll calls; Christmas day in 1944; activities to relieve boredom; attempts to keep clean; the typhus epidemic; caring for fellow inmates; her attitude towards having a shaved head; the treatment of inmates by guards; self preservation; the escape of some inmates to a village to get food; the attitude towards Allied bombing; babies born in the camp; trying not to think of parents; the role of Jewish police in the camp; hearing approaching Allied gunfire and the disappearance of German guards; liberation and the reaction of Russians to the sight of the camp and prisoners; the disorganization of the liberation operation; staying in a disused farmhouse; food distributed by Russians; the arrival of vans to disinfect inmates; the attitude of villagers towards inmates; her first sight of herself in a mirror; being cared for by the Hungarian Red Cross; the reaction to the news of liberation of other concentration camps; returning to Budapest, Hungary in May 1945; searching for and reuniting with her mother; her first meal at home; her gradual recovery; learning that her father had not survived; immigrating to Britain in 1946; her reasons for emigration; her attitude towards the Cold War; and her attitude towards war today.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Konrad, Judith
interview:  1986 November
4 sound cassettes (90 min.).
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:09:49
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