Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Small suitcase used by a Hungarian Jewish family while living in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 1999.282.2

Small brown suitcase used by ten year old Gyorgy Pick and his parents Margit and Istvan to carry family photos and food while they were living in hiding in Budapest, Hungary, from November 1944 - January 1945. Hungary was an ally of Nazi Germany and adopted similar anti-Jewish laws in the 1930s. Istvan, an engineer, lost his job in May 1939 because he was Jewish. He was conscripted into Hungarian labor battalions in 1940, 1943, and 1944. After German setbacks in the war against the Soviet Union in early 1943, Hungary sought a separate peace. In March 1944, Germany invaded Hungary. The next month, Hungarian authorities began round-ups of Hungarian Jews for deportation to concentration camps. That June, Gyorgy, his mother, and maternal grandmother Malvina were forced to move to a designated Jews only yellow star building. In November, Istvan escaped his battalion and went into hiding in Budapest at a textile factory on Csango Street where nearly 200 other Jews were also hiding. On November 22, he sent for Margit and Gyorgy. In December, Imre Kormos, the Jewish owner of this factory and three others where Jews were hiding, was betrayed to the Gestapo. The factory was raided December 2, but the police accepted bribes to not make arrests. On December 17, the Pick family went to the central ghetto to avoid capture. Budapest was under heavy bombardment and there was no electricity, gas, or water. Food was scarce because of the Soviet blockade. The Picks lived in the crowded basement with nearly 200 others. On January 18, 1945, Pest, where they lived was liberated by the Soviet Army; Buda was liberated on February 13. The family returned to their own apartment; Gyorgy carried the suitcase because his parents felt too weak to do so. They were reunited with Malvina, who had hidden in the international ghetto. Over 160 members of Gyorgy's extended family perished in the Holocaust.

use:  1944 March-1945 January
use: in hiding; Budapest (Hungary)
Object Type
Suitcases (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of George Pick
Record last modified: 2023-04-06 09:13:05
This page: