This is Part VI in a series documenting my Uncle Irving’s account of his personal and family histories during and after the Holocaust. Previous entries can be found on this site under the titles: Only the First Four Hurt Parts I, II, III, IV & V.
After the sanitorium, I think they offered us to go to Switzerland or Palestine or back to our homes. I decided to go back to Hungary because I didn’t know who frommy family was alive or not.
While in the sanitorium, I don’t know how but a cousin from my mother’s side visited me and asked if I was Tibor Klein. I said ‘yeah’ and he told me who he was. He told me my brother Sandy and my sister Berjie were alive and that he had let them know I was alive.
There was no transportation to Hungary so we took cargo trains from one station to the next to get there. I was with other people and I just followed them. When I got close to our hometown station – Matisakov – there were no more trains left to take. So from there a local farmer who recognized me or heard about me or something took me by horse and wagon back to the town with the synagogue – Okorito. That’s where my brother Sandy and sister Berjie were staying because in our town there was nothing left to go back to. It was very close by but the Hungarian government had taken over all the Jewish homes in our town.
I got to where Berjie and Sandy were. They were alive – living with a Jewish family and with other young people from the area – there were about 5 people living in the same house. I remember being happy to see them and I remember the reunion being very happy. But I found out that not all of my siblings or my parents or grandparents were there. My sister Barbara was in Bergen Belsen – we didn’t know that at the time – but she wasn’t with the others.
One thing I noticed when I got there was that Berjie and Sandy and the young people who had come home from the camps were all living like there was no tomorrow. Dancing, drinking, celebrating like….well I guess like any normal person would.
But it depressed me.
Irving pauses here and his face crumbles. He is sobbing.