In 1940, the Germans gave their area of Romania to Hungary. Following that, conditions worsened. Jews were not allowed to have jobs, there was little food. I went to Budapest to work as a carpenter in 1942 till 1944. The Germans then occupied Budapest and were rounding up Jews. I fled back to my home town. I had a choice to make, to go into a work camp or to the Ghetto where my family was living. I chose the Ghetto. About five weeks later, May, 1944, the Germans started to liquidate the Ghetto. My father and I were sent on the first transport to Auschwitz. On the way, when we had stopped, I was picked by Germans to get water for the transport car. I filled up a pail; the Germans then spilled out the water and beat me up.
At Auschwitz, at an appel or roll call, the Germans asked for any skilled workers to volunteer. My father told me to step out, you’re a carpenter. I did and was taken to a labor camp outside Cracow. That was the last time I saw his father. I was then taken to Buchenwald, Flossenbürg, then on a Death March as the Allies were advancing. Flossenbürg was a very bad camp in particular; criminals from German jails were among the prisoners who brutalized the Jewish inmates. On the Death March in February 1945, there was no food, no warm clothes, we had thin striped uniforms, wooden shoes, and walked in the snow. If one person slipped and fell, they were shot and covered with snow. As we heard the Front approaching, we could hear gunshots, we were ordered to run fast and I could run no more. Where the road curved, my friend and I ran into the woods.
Later I was liberated by American soldiers, March 22, 1945. My parents, Bracha, Zvi, and Shmaya died at Auschwitz. Goldie died in another concentration camp.
After the war I tried to go to Israel. The British captured the ship he was on and I spent twenty-two months locked up in Cyprus. I married my wife in 1948 who I had met in a DP camp after the war. We lived in Israel for eleven years. My wife had two aunts and a sister in Detroit so we moved here.