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Oral history interview with János Hangya

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.288.83 | RG Number: RG-50.670.0083

János Hangya, born October 30, 1925 in Szakcs, Hungary, describes moving with his family to Budapest, Hungary when he was 10 years old; not being religious; his father’s work for the Jewish Congregation of Faith beginning in 1940; spending a lot of time with Jewish families; attending a school comprised mostly of Jewish boys (there were only 4 Christian boys in his class) and feeling immediately accepted even though he was a boy from the country; working at a factory on Fehérvári street during the war; knowing most of the people who worked at the congregation on Síp street; hearing about the deportation of Jews two weeks after it had begun; Miksa Domokos taking over the leadership of the Jewish community some time around April 1944 and Rabbi Sándor Berendt also appearing at this time; the arrival of the Germans in Hungary; the widespread disbelief of the rumors about the conditions in Auschwitz; having to leave the ghetto with his family by December 1, 1944; moving into the flat of a Jewish family they knew; his father’s ID from the Gestapo, allowing him to enter the ghetto; bringing blankets to lagers in Aszód (near the neighborhood Csepel in Budapest); conditions in the lagers; being asked by Miksa Domonkos (the head of the Jewish congregation) to witness and report about the conditions at the round-ups and deportations in the countryside, which included several villages: Szakcs, Kocsola, Döbrököz, Dombóvár, Kurd, and Kurdcsibrák; going to Szakcs, Kocsola (where his mother was born), and Törökkopány to pick up his mother's and his father's birth certificates and their marriage papers from the local authorities; the Jewish families he knew in Szakcs and Kocsola, whom he saw deported; the transfer of Jews from Kurd and Kurdcsibrák to the ghetto in Dombóvár; being back about 10 copies of his parents' marriage certificate and giving them to Jewish friends and acquaintances to use; the Jewish congregation’s attempts to help the Jewry in the countryside; hearing that Rezső Kasztner freed some people from confinement at the synagogue on Rumbach street; getting a Swiss Schutzpass for someone from the synagogue on Rumbach street; meeting Wallenberg three times; having to report for military service at a military base and staying for three days in a brick factory in Kőbánya before returning home; taking a Swedish Schutzpass to the Reisz family, all of whom survived the war; staying in the basement of the Reisz house during the bombings; and the trial of Béla Berend (a former rabbi from Maramures) after the war.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
János Hangya
Borbála Kriza
interview:  2014 September 24
1 digital file : MPEG-4.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2021-03-01 08:43:32
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