Photo taken in:BudapestYear when photo was taken:1947Country name at time of photo:HungaryCountry name today:HungaryName of the photographer / studio:Photopress, Karoly Falus, VIII. Kisfaludy Street 4.
In 1947 my father was decorated. In the picture you can see the decoration ceremony in Parliament. With his back to us is Lajos Dinnyes, in front of him is Lajos Stockler, the president of the Jewish community, and behind him the one with the moustache is my father. I don't remember the name of the woman who is standing next to him, but she had an important role. She was in charge of the alimentation of the ghetto. On the other side of the woman Dr. Laszlo Benedek head physician is standing. [cf. Miksa Domonkos's own account about his activities in the ghetto: www.degob.hu/index2.php?showjk=3662] Then he was decorated again in 1948, with the officer's cross of the Hungarian Republic Order. (cf. picture 28.) In 1950 my father retired. From then on he held off from public life. He did gardening. Despite of this on 7th April 1953, so after Stalin's death, the AVO caught him. They kept him in for more than half a year, and on 13th November 1953 they took him to the Istvan Hospital. When they took him, he was a well-built man, weighing some 100 kilograms, and they took him to the hospital a wreck of 45 kilograms. They took him to the hospital during the night, and they didn't want to tell them who it was. When the physician in attendance told them that he would not take him over, they phoned their headquarters, and finally they told him his name. But they interdicted them to notify the family, and they called us on the next morning from the AVO. My father was unconscious for days. He was in the hospital for two months, and then he could walk again. Later he told us, that they had taken him to the prison on Fo Street, stripped him to the skin and he had to make a confession. He lay on a concrete bed, they flashed reflectors in his face day and night, took blood from him after each interrogation, to weaken his resistance. He got to the hospital so that his erythro count was 800,000. With transfusion they raised it to 1.5 million in six days, and according to his final report when he came out it was 3.490.000. He died soon after he came out of hospital, on 25th February 1954. Then I tried to find out what had happened and why. When I asked the answer was, 'You will never find out what happened here.' Pal Szalai was taken to the AVO in the summer of 1952 from in front of his house. With all kinds of tortures they made him confess that he had seen that the Jewish leaders, Miksa Domonkos among them, killed Raul Wallenberg for his money. When they had this confession they arrested the Jewish leaders, Stockler, too, who came out just as miserable. This happened after Stalin's death, so it didn't have to do anything with the Zionist matters which had been stopped in the meantime. It turned out that this wasn't a Hungarian initiative, but a Russian crew was controlling the entire action. They could not account for Wallenberg towards the West, and they devised to blame it on the Jews. Then they gave it up after all. Poor Szalai was also released. They threatened him saying that if he would ever tell anyone, anywhere, anything about what had happened, they would find him. To be sure, he immigrated to South America in 1956 and changed his name. He dared to come home after the change of the regime, and he told me the story at that time. Then I introduced him to Maria Ember, and he told it to her, too, and it was published.