Photo taken in:BudapestCountry name at time of photo:HungaryCountry name today:Hungary
This is a reception at the Israeli embassy, which I organized. I am in the middle of the photo and the lady next to me is my second wife Sarolta.
The Director at the Csemege Company, a Socialist food store chain, was a very good friend of mine.We had trudged through the mud together during the forced labour period.
He asked me how much my wages were. I told him and he said that he would give me double that if I went to work for him.
I moved to the Csemege Company in 1953 as a group leader, where I had to supervise all the shops in Budapest.
This job was not really good for me because I was a Jew and there was anti-Semitism. From there I got to the supplying section of the company.
I worked there for thirty years. I managed to organise my work in such a way that I was the supplier for all the diplomats to Hungary from 176 countries.
Besides this I also oversaw fifty buffets. I supplied the diplomats with food in their private lives. If they needed some delicatessen, they could get it with my help.
I got many high decorations, mostly from the government. This job had also some perks that raised my quality of life: Western connections, travels, food, etc.
I met my second wife on St. Nicholas’s Day at a dance party. First I thought that she was a Gypsy girl. Later I asked her what kind of church she went to.
This was the basis of our friendship. She told me that she had no denomination, but she was a Jew and had been deported. Her name was Sarolta Holstein. She had been born in Esztergom.
Her parents had divorced, and her aunt and grandmother had taken her in and raised her. She was learning to be a hairdresser.
She went to Auschwitz when she was nineteen together with her grandmother and aunt. Mengele sent the old lady to the gas chamber, the aunt to work and took my wife to the experiment lager.
The experiment subjects were in the experiment lager for six weeks. As my wife explained it, they were treated well, but when the experiment was over they were all taken to the gas chambers and killed so as not to leave any trace.
Near Mengele worked a French Jewish doctor who had lost a daughter very like my wife.
The doctor told my wife that she had to leave the hospital during the night and take the transport the next day as Mengele would recognize her as one of the experiment subjects.
They dressed her as a nurse and she was able to run away from the hospital and get to the barracks her aunt was in. There was a transport leaving for Horisov and my wife and her aunt made it there.
She and I got married in 1947 in the synagogue on Csaky Street. She was a hairdresser, but studied further.
She graduated from college as a technical designer. She worked on the Nepstadion.
During our marriage she never spoke about Mengele experimenting on her. She could get pregnant, but not deliver.
In 1961 she received compensation because she had been an experiment subject. She was a star witness. A delegation came from Geneva, because I said that my wife had already been through great hardships and had had enough of Germany once.
I insisted that if they wanted her to be a witness then they had to come here. And that's just how it happened. The delegation came, she was called in, and they examined her.
They concluded that everything my wife had said was true. We handed in the papers for the compensation here in Hungary.
My wife was given 40,000 deutschmarks for having being used in the experiments. I said that this was blood money.
My wife and I agreed that if we could not have a family, we would travel.