Munnerstadt: breaking its silence after 50 years

Munnerstadt: breaking its silence after 50 years

"Anything can happen", says eva szepesi when asked by a schoolgirl if she thought something like that could happen again. But she has been to many schools and has always sat opposite an open-minded youth, which is now the third and even fourth generation after the terrible events. But there is one thing she gives the students to take away with them: "you are not to blame for what happened back then, but you were to blame if it happened again." So they had to face it.

Principal peter rottmann had already invited eva szepesi twice to schweinfurt, where he had previously been principal of the bayernkolleg. Now she came to munnerstadt for the first time to talk about her life and to read from her book "a girl alone on the run" read aloud. Peter rottmann introduced the guest to the Q 11 and Q 12 students. Born eva diamant in 1932 in a suburb of budapest. Although hungary was allied with germany, the 700,000 or so hungarian jews were relatively safe until 1944, he says. When the deportations began, she fled. On 4. November 1944, she arrived at auschwitz and was executed on 27. January 1945 liberated.

"I never talked about the subject", she says. She had forgotten all about it. In 1995, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp, she received an invitation to visit auschwitz, which she initially refused to accept. But then she went to her daughter’s request and broke her silence. Since then, she has seen it as an obligation to talk about it, because the others could no longer say anything "because they were made mute.

Eva szepesi speaks of a happy childhood, but also of her first discriminations by her playmates at the age of eight. Her father took her away. "Someone had put her up to it", he said. Later, he was drafted as a construction soldier and sent to the eastern front. Then nothing more was heard of him.

When the situation came to a head, her mother sent her with an aunt to neighboring slovakia, where she arrived by adventurous means with forged papers. Her mother and her younger brother stayed behind. "When we said goodbye, my mother held me so tightly and cried", says eva szepesi. She didn’t understand at the time, because her mother wanted to join her soon. She never saw them again.

Eva szepesi describes her adventurous journey in slovakia. For a few days she stayed with a rabbi – alone by now. Later she came to live with two older sisters who had never married. They tried to take away eva szepesi’s loneliness by reading her stories and tales, which is why she called them her tale sisters.

Then came the men. Eva szepesi was lying in bed and was rigid with fear. She and the two sisters had a quarter of an hour to pack their bags. She quickly filled a cloth bag, but only before the door she realized that she had forgotten her favorite doll. She wanted to go back and get them. "But all the begging and pleading was in vain."

The bus ride ended first in an old people’s home, a collection camp for the deportation. Every day names were called, people were taken away. She stayed until the very last day. Eva szepesi picks up the book, reads the chapter aloud. She found herself on the floor of a cattle car, but the train stopped for days. She described the stench in the carriage and how she remembered that she had once broken one of her mother’s perfume bottles. The smell that filled the whole house at that time now permeated the cattle car. She had it in her nose.

When the door finally opened, she was standing in the snow, in freezing cold. She stood on the ramp of auschwitz-birkenau. The blue jacket her mother had knitted for her was folded neatly on the floor when she had to undress for the shower. A warter kicked her away. That was the last little piece of security. "The sight that met my eyes was terrifying." Eva szepesi describes how her hair was cut off, how she was put in a barrack, how she greedily devoured the soup pot and how she burned her lips terribly. When the pot came to her for the second time, it was empty.

The next morning the registration took place. "You to 16", a female attendant fluttered energetically into her ear in slovak while she was standing in line. What could she do?? "I was only twelve." She was trembling with fear and said "16". That saved her life. Then she got her number tattooed on her forearm.

Eva szepesi tells of the hours of roll call in freezing cold, of the mistreatment and frostbite she suffered. And from the terrible hunger. The strength was fading. She dreamed, got into a state of stupor and finally passed out. The women who could still move halay were sent on death marches. Some remained lying. "They were dead", says eva szepesi. To this day she does not know whether it was an angel or a prisoner who held snow to her fevered lips. When she woke up the next time, she saw a red star on a fur hat, and under it a friendly face. The camp was liberated, she was saved.

In september 1945, eva szepesi returned to budapest, but she did not find her mother and brother. She got married, her husband’s job required her to go to germany. Then when the hungarian uprising was put down in 1956, they could no longer look back. She stayed in germany, raising her two daughters roughly.

It was her granddaughter who, after a visit to auschwitz, asked her grandmother to go there again with her. She did not want again. But she drove. That was 2016. In the meantime, the names of all the murdered hungarian jews had been placed in a barrack there. The granddaughter found her great-grandmother’s name. "That can’t be", was eva szepesi’s first reaction. But the date of birth was correct, and further up was the name of her little brother. "Since then I could mourn, I could cry, which I could not do before."

Also on the podium are christoph durr, fadya soda and constanze faust. They had read eva szepesi’s books and wanted to know a few more things. Principal peter rottmann also invites the other students to ask questions. They do, and then comes the question that, according to peter rottmann, always comes: "do you still have the tattoo??" Eva szepesi deblobs her forearm. There she is clearly visible. Earlier she kept silent and covered up the prisoner’s number. Since she started to talk, she also goes short-sleeved.

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