Erno Szabados in forced labor work service

Erno Szabados in forced labor work service

This is Erno Szabados, my older brother, during work service. The picture was taken in 1943.

Erno was born in Ilk in 1910. He finished Civil School in Vasarosnameny. He became a tailor the same way me and my other older brother Jeno had. When Erno and I finished out our apprenticeship, there was money waiting for us at the post office for train tickets. We joined up with Jeno who had opened a tailorshop on Baross street. Both of them changed their name from Schwartz to Szabados, Jeno in 1936 and Erno in 1937. I joined my two older brothers in Pest in 1937. I was stunned when I got to Pest and I saw my brothers eating treyfl.

They called up Erno and Jeno to work service in 1942. From there, first they went to Vac then to Budapest. From there they were taken to Austria. Jeno was the spiritually stronger one, and Erno can thank him for surviving the work service. Erno and Jeno were liberated from Mauthhausen. Erno surely would have died without Jeno. If he had to carry him on his back, or steal food for him, he did it, and by the way, he kept their spirits up. I know this from when Erno succeeded in struggling home. A drunken Russian soldier had shot Jeno as soon as they got to Austria. He wasn’t the only victim. Erno died without a descendant.

When I found out after the war, that my older brother Erno and younger brother Bela were still alive, we thought we should start something together. We started working in Pest. The workshop in Baross street was a tailorshop, where we went back to work with my brother Erno. Jeno had been a well-known tailor in the area before the war. If I went somewhere, and said I was Jeno’s brother, I got credit anywhere, everything. That’s how we struggled, I’m not saying we got rich, but we lived a lot, and did everything we had to up to the very end.

Erno had a small businessman’s license. I reported in as his employee. Two or three years after the war, between 1947 and 1949, they came to search our house. They said we were bourgeois, yea, and they wanted to take away our courtyard. They nationalized the house, but we succeeded in counter sueing for it back. They even came in, to take over the apartment, and everything. They told us we were richmen. In the workshop, they were occupied with how beautiful our shoes were on our feet. Imagine how beautiful shoes can be on a person, if they haven’t got any clothes on!

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