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George Byfield album

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2001.156

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    George Byfield album

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    The George Byfield album titled “Oroszfront 1942-1943: Munkaszolgálat Oroszországban” was compiled by Gyorgy Beifeld (later George Byfield) while serving in a forced labor brigade. The album includes journal entries and drawings documenting Gyorgy’s experiences in the Hungarian Labor Service in the Soviet Union from 1942-1943. The album also includes captions and artwork he created after the war, often relating to notes or memories of his experiences. The entries describe the scenery, observation of the surroundings, villages, people, struggles of war, and daily activities.
    inclusive:  circa 1942-1973
    bulk:  1942-1943
    Collection Creator
    George Byfield
    Gyorgy Beifeld (born Gyorgy Beamter, later George Byfield, 1902-1982) was born in Budapest, Hungary, on April 4, 1902 to Wilhelm and Hermine Hacker Beamter. His father was killed in 1917 while serving in the army during World War I. Gyorgy attended university and was trained as a lawyer, but earned his living as a stockbroker in Budapest. He was also an accomplished artist and was fluent in Hungarian, English, French, and German.

    On April 1, 1942, Gyorgy was conscripted into the Hungarian Labor Service (Munkaszolgalat) and sent to a camp in Pomac, Hungary. Gyorgy began painting immediately after his induction, creating watercolors of the base camp in Hungary where the company was initially stationed. On April 20, 1942, Gyorgy's company departed by train for the Russian front in Orel. Their duties included building fortifications, transporting ammunition, constructing bridges and roads, laying mines, burying the dead, and carrying away the wounded. During this time, he made a visual record of his experiences, creating over 400 drawings and watercolors. He was wounded on August 28, 1943 at Prilutskiy. At the end of 1943, Gyorgy was sent home to Budapest.

    On May 12, 1944, Gyorgy was arrested and held in a camp in Velence near Budapest for six months. He was assigned prisoner number 27990. On December 25, he was deported to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany and worked as a draughtsman. In January 1945, he was transferred to Offenburg. In April, he was sent on a death march to Dachau concentration camp. The camp was liberated by the United States 7th Army on April 29, 1945.

    Gyorgy returned to Budapest then immigrated to Australia in 1948. Following his move to Australia, he changed his name to George Byfield and opened a tobacconist shop with his wife. He later ran a successful interior design studio.

    Physical Details

    Diaries. Art.
    1 oversize box
    3 folders
    System of Arrangement
    The George Byfield album is arranged as a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Topical Term
    Forced labor.

    Administrative Notes

    Harold Wheen Tebbutt, Judith Uri, Gabriella Teichner, and Ivan Marko donated the George Byfield album to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2001.
    Funding Note
    The accessibility of this collection was made possible by the generous donors to our crowdfunded Save Their Stories campaign.
    Special Collection
    Save Their Stories
    Record last modified:
    2024-04-11 13:19:09
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