This is a picture of my family. From left to right are my brother Tibor Moskovits, my mother, Jolan Moskovits, nee Klein, my father Jeno Moskovits and I. The photo was taken at our house, in front of the hall entrance on 5th March 1944.
The mohair sweater I wear in the photo and pullovers were very much in vogue then. My mother knitted this sweater, and she also knitted other very nice things and even knew how to sew. I was wearing it because it was new then and I liked it very very much. We didn't know then what was to come within two months. We didn't realize then how close the disaster was, when we had to leave our home, close the door and leave everything behind.
Tibor was taken to forced labor to Palotailva [on the banks of the Maros River, 77 km from Marosvasarhely] in 1943, but I don't know what kind of work they had to do there. In March 1944 he was given a furlough, and came home for a few days, but then he had to go back. this picture was taken on that occasion. That was the last time I saw him. I don't know where he was taken, but on 23rd August 1944, when the war ended, he and one of his mates set off for home on foot. In that period the Russians were taking away the German prisoners of war and everyone who could, fled from these columns. The Russians, though, had to account for a certain number of prisoners. If people went missing along the way, they took people from the streets and put them in these columns so they could hand over as many people as they had taken on. My brother and his friend almost got to Ernye [some 18 km from Marosvasarhely], or somewhere around there, but they met such a group, so they were taken prisoner by the Russians and sent to a camp in the Crimea. Unfortunately this wasn't an exception, many others had fallen victim to such actions. I don't know what they had to do there, but my brother got typhus and passed away in January or February 1945, so he never came home. This I know from his comrade, who eventually came home.
All the time he was a prisoner of the Russians, Tibor had this photo with him. He then died and his friend, who also was from Marosvasarhely, saw this picture in a dumpster - and since he knew us and knew my brother was already gone - he took it out and gave it to me when he came home. I was very happy to get it because it is the last picture taken of us all together.
The Germans came into Marosvasarhely on, or around, 19th March 1944. That year school ended very early and then everything happened very rapidly. Early in April I was still attending the school, and my father was still teaching, when all the schools had to officially end the year simultaneously. Early in 1944, when the law regarding the obligation to wear the yellow star came into force, the first unofficial news came, that Jews would all be gathered and taken to Transdanubia for agricultural work, but without separating the families. This was the news. Furthermore, we would only be allowed to take luggage of a certain weight. Everybody began looking for or making backpacks to have something they could pack their things in, so we were somewhat prepared. Then the official notification came on banners saying we had to be ready by 3rd May with packs of a certain weight, including spare clothes and food, because they would come to take us away.
We arrived at Auschwitz at the end of May. My mother had been operated on the year before, and she had a large scar that was quite obvious. In addition she began to go grey quite early, although she was only 48, and she had even began dyeing her hair at home, before the deportation. We had our hair cut, and as it began to grow back her grey hair began to appear. The grey hair and the scar, these were good reasons to be sent to the gas chamber, so we tried to hide away from these selections. As soon as we heard one would take place, we hid somewhere, anywhere we could. This went on until October.
In early October there were very few of us left in the camp, as many had perished or had been taken to work. Those who hadn't been taken to work had been sent to the gas chambers. We had no opportunity to hide, and by then one could never know when these selections would take place. On 6th October they opened the doors of the two facing blocks, a cordon of German soldiers was formed and they began to select people and sent them out one by one. Those who had been accepted were sent to the other block, otherwise they were taken elsewhere. That's how we got separated because I had been found young and strong enough to work. Those found unfit to work were immediately taken away, of course. Then I knew for sure - they didn't tell us, but I already knew - that I would be separated from her forever, for she was taken to the gas chamber. Two days later, on 8th October it would have been her 48th birthday.