George Gelberman

"Have faith and never forget it could happen here too, G-d forbid.                "

Name at birth
Gyuri Gelbermann
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Budapest, Hungary
Name of father, occupation
David, Owned a small coat factory
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Rela Joseph, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and two children: me and Erica
How many in entire extended family?
Over 60
Who survived the Holocaust?
Parents, Erica, and me (George)
My family survived the Holocaust by hiding in a Raoul Wallenberg/Moshe Kraus Safe House in Budapest.  
My father was taken away soon afterwards while going out looking for food.  He got off a street car and went right into the arms of the Captain of the Guards of the bomb removal detail that he had escaped from.  He was sentenced to be hung.  My mother, of blessed memory, was able to buy him a reprieve but the officer in charge of the hanging went through the process as though he didn’t have the reprieve in his pocket.  He put a black hood on my father’s head and the noose around his neck.  Just before pulling the lever said, “Oh, is your name Gelbermann, Deseder?  You have a reprieve.”  
His reprieve was to be sent to Auschwitz.  By that time, word had gotten out that Auschwitz wasn’t the summer camp they made it out to be.  There were seventy-five men in the cattle car.  Being a work detail, they had picks and axes available.  They decided to break open the floor of the car and as the train was traveling down the tracks at a high speed, they all jumped out one at a time.  Of the seventy-five who jumped, fourteen survived.  My father by that time weighed seventy five pounds.  He fell flat and only skinned his knees, thank G-d.  He hid in the forest until the end of the war.  
After the war, we moved to Debrecen, Hungary.  We soon realized that you could not raise children as orthodox Jews under Communism.  We escaped from Hungary to East Germany and then from East Germany to West Germany.  We ended up in a Displaced Persons (DP) camp in Ansbach, Germany.  We lived there for two years waiting for a sponsor and visas to come to the United States.  After the war, I became an art teacher and later a realtor.  
Where were you in hiding?
My family was in hiding in a Raoul Wallenberg/Moshe Kraus Safe House in Budapest.
What DP Camp were you after the war?
In Ansbach, Germany
Where did you go after being liberated?
First Debrecen, Hungary then Ansbach, Germany
Occupation after the war
Art Teacher, realtor
Estelle, Teacher
Elana, ombudsman; Ari, works at Blue Cross Blue Shield; Ranan, realtor
Twelve and fifteen Great Grandchildren
What do you think helped you to survive?
G-d and my parents
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Have faith and never forget it could happen here too, G-d forbid.                
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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