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2004

Compte rendu d’un entretien

“I was born in Budapest in 1929. The German occupation occurs in 1944. At that time, I’m 15 years old and living with my parents. I was their only daughter. We had to wear yellow star and move from apartment. We then lived in the so called SAFE HOUSES; the Sweedish government was looking over Jewish people. We had to leave everything behind and move to another place. Read More »Compte rendu d’un entretien

Raoul Wallenberg’s office hired by the Swedish Embassy.

  • Gabor Forgács

The history of the Üllői út 2-4,

1

When Raoul Wallenberg arrived in Budapest, Per Anger had already been in action in the office disposed in a villa rented by the Swedish Embassy in 2, Minerva street.It is obvious that Wallenberg located his headquarters and started organizing his activity there too. The staff, which was yet relatively small in number, assembled in the second half of July, and had an initiative and leading role in both making the Schutzpasses and administratively organizing as well carrying out the Activity. We remember the members below with comparative accuracy (the order of the list means role-hierarchy in the same time): Hugó Wohl, Dr. Pál Hegedűs, Vilmos Forgács, Dr. Ottó Fleischman, István Engelman, Imre Terner, Iván Székely.
Office-clerk of the secretariat: countess Erzsébet Nákó, Mrs. Falk Lászlóné, Mariann Bach, Hedda Kátai, Lilla Boros, Tibor Vándor, Pál Forgács.
Supposedly, besides the above listed people, others also played an important role, but might be missing from the list due to their secondary importance or a lapse of memory.
The Schutzpass-action leaked out among the threatened Jewry of Budapest, partly as a consequence of the „mole-news” spreading surprisingly fast. When recalling that period of time we shall take into account the fact that the period from the desarming of the Baky-Endre gendarme coup up to the arrow-cross putsch (thus from 20th July to 15th October) was a relatively easier period for the Jewry of Budapest settled in houses, marked with the yellow star. Street raids, leading to deportation had ceased, the limitations to agression to street were taken less severely. Some people took off the yellow star, were circulating without them, and were less afraid of the consequences.Read More »Raoul Wallenberg’s office hired by the Swedish Embassy.

There but by the grace of God go I

  • Marianne Vaney

(John Bradford 1510-1555, English Protestant martyr)

He was the modern St. George who saved thousands of people, fighting the ferocious occupying power, his only arms being sagacity temerity and wit, motivated by compassion for the persecuted, the tortured, while he himself becoming the victim of another totalitarian power.

I close my eyes and try to remember when it was I saw him for the last time. It was around 16th January 1945. Budapest was liberated – or occupied, depending on people’s ideology – by the Soviet troops. We were a small group of the Swedish Special Mission employees, staying at the vaults of the former British Embassy and the National Bank and were supposed to spend the night in the air raid shelter. It was probably too dangerous to go home in the evening. Somewhere in the building there must have been a burst pipe, water was rising always higher and we were moving up from one wooden shelf to a higher one, wondering if, having survived the German occupation and the Szalasy Arrow Cross government, are we now going to be drowned or only frozen to death? But our Guardian Angels saved us, the water stopped and we fell into an exhausted sleep.

Next morning with bleary eyes we said goodbye to Wallenberg who came by for a short visit prior to his going to Debrecen where he was to meet the Provisory Hungarian Government. We never saw him again. The Swedish Mission was rounded up; their task of saving the remaining Jewish population of Budapest was accomplished as far as was humanly possible.Read More »There but by the grace of God go I