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Jeno Nemeth

Rakoczifalva, Hungary

Jeno moved to Szentes from a tiny farming community near the city of Szolnok, where he and his two brothers had been born to Jewish parents. Jeno owned a store that carried groceries and hardware items. He lived in the southeast Hungarian town of Szentes. Jeno and his wife, Juliana, had two married daughters,Barbara and Margit. Their son, Desider, was a dentist in Szentes.

1933-39: My wife and I work hard in our store. The Depression of the 1930s was devastating, but things are starting to get a little better. Desider has married and we have a new granddaughter, Maria. Barbara, who had moved to the nearby town of Torokszentmiklos when she married, has now divorced and moved back to Szentes with her son. She works with us in the store.

1940-44: It's been five months since German troops occupied Hungary in March 1944. Members of the Hungarian fascist party, Arrow Cross, confiscated our store and home. My wife, Juliana, our grown children and their families, some of our in-laws and I were among thousands of Jews from towns around Szeged who were deported to a makeshift ghetto in Szeged's sports field and brickyard. Now we've been taken by train to Austria, via the Strasshof labor camp, to a labor camp in the east Austrian farming village of Goestling an der Ybbs.

Jeno and his family were among 80 Jews in the camp who were machine-gunned to death by retreating SS soldiers just days before U.S. forces reached the area.

 

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