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Ibolya Ginsburg

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
Born:
October 1948
Work permit for textile industry
Mode of Arrival:

Ibolya Ginsburg (nee davidovitch) was born in Paszto, Hungary in 1924. Her mother came from a very religious family from Torna St Jakab, her father from a religious family in Miskolc. His father had come from a non-religious family and had become religious. Ibolya’s great grandfather was a professional soldier but her grandfather did not want to follow this and his father bought him a farm. He married, had a son and his wife died. He remarried her sister and had more children. His wife came from a very religious family. He became a cantor/Schochet/Sopher and led a very orthodox life. His son, Ibolya’s father, followed suit and became a cantor etc. They both had wonderful voices. Ibolya’s family lived in Paszto until c1929 and then they moved to Tokaj. They lived in the shul compound where her father worked as the main cantor. Also in the compound was the Jewish School, the Mikveh, Beis Hamedrash. 

They had a live-in maid and Ibolya attended the Jewish School and had extra Hebrew lessons in the afternoon. After leaving school she became apprenticed to a dressmaker for two years and worked with her aunt for a year. She made friends with the non-Jewish neighbourhood children but noticed a change in them when they started school and learnt that the Jews killed Christ. Nevertheless life continued normally until the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944. They were forced to move into the ghetto of Satoraljaujhely for about 3 weeks. They stayed with relations living in a room of their house. There was plenty of food and a Jewish Committee maintained organization. In April just before Shavuos they were gathered and put into cattle trucks for a 3-day journey. They took clothing and food and there were buckets in the truck for sanitary needs. They arrived in Auschwitz. Ibolya and her sister were split from the rest of the family. They were disinfected and given a thin dress and sent to the gypsy camp. There they discovered what had happened to the rest of the family. They stayed for  about 3 months, waiting to be sent out to work and participating in interminable roll calls. Then they were put on cattle trucks in July and sent to Kaufering, to a satellite camp of Dachau for 2-3 weeks, where they helped build barracks. Then they were sent to another camp, Lager 4. There were 400 women and many men, mainly Lithuanian, who were building underground bunkers for the firm Moll. Kirsch was in charge. He could beat a man to death, yet he had a wife and 4 daughters. 

Ibolya could speak Yiddish and was therefore given special privileges. She helped in the kitchen with her sister. As the allies neared they were taken to a Russian POW camp near Munich, where she helped to keep the hospital block clean. She also did this in Ottilien near Munich. Then they were taken on a 4-5 day march in circles around Munich until they were liberated on 1 May 1945. She continued to help in the hospital now run by the allies and met and nursed Waldemar, who she married in 1946 in Weiden. Her father survived and she arranged a marriage for him and he and his wife went to live in Israel. 

Ibolya became a housewife in Munich and on 16 October 1948 she and Waldemar came to Yorkshire, England where Waldemar had relations. 

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@ Refugee Voices 2019