This is the Story of the Holocaust Survivor, Agnes Gertrude Wohl. Agnes Gertrude Wohl was born in Budapest, Hungary on March 3, 1933. Agnes Gertrude Wohl had a large family. Her immediate family consisted of her mother, father, and her brother, Vilmos who was two years older than Agnes. Her extended family who also lived with her consisted of her grandmother, Helen, her uncle, Albert, Albert’s wife, Olga, their daughter, Marika, who is two years younger than Agnes, and her aunt, Alice and uncle, Vili. The members of her extended family were only from her mother’s side.
Her father and her uncles owned a aniline dye business. At the age of 7, in 1940, her family moved into an apartment in a neighborhood that was not Jewish. March 19, 1944 was a very frightening time for the Mendelovits (Agnes’s maiden name) family.
They received a dreaded phone call from their friend informing them that the German Army was nearing them. The Jews were required to live in a ghetto. Her family was forced to give up jewelry, the family business, and their apartment. After moving into the ghetto, the Jews had to follow certain protocols, like having a curfew. Soon after, rumors, which were found to be true, were being spread that Jews were being deported.
A family member had confirmed this for them. Many members of her family had been deported and killed, including seven of her brothers and sisters, with their husbands and wives and children, were taken away from their homes to Auschwitz, and killed. Her uncles were also taken and killed. On October 15, 1944, Agnes’s mother came to the realization that the roundup was going to take place.
However, before the soldiers could get to Agnes and her family, Agnes’s mother’s cousin saved them. He pretended that he was taking them to Nazi headquarters, but in reality hiding them. They hid in a dry cleaner shop and soon later moved to a furniture store. Each day the possibility of them being caught being higher and higher. Finally, when her mother knew the day was around the corner, she told Agnes to lie to the soldiers and claim that she was not Jewish and just a refugee. On January 17, 1945, they were found in the basement of the furniture store along with the other sixty people who were hiding there.
They were taken to the headquarters where they were forced to take off their shirts, pants, and shoes. While this was taking place, a women called Agnes out, and asked her what her name was. Remembering what her mother had said, she answered with a “Christian” name. She was told to go to the corner and wait. While she was waiting, and German officer started to interrogate her to confirm she was Christian. He, unfortunately, did not believe her, and sent her back. The people were tortured to the point where they had to eat their own excrement. At this point, Agnes’s mother had lost all of her hope, and she knew that the day of her death was coming.
At the end of the day, the Jews were told that they were going to be returned back to the ghetto. However, this was a lie. The soldiers lined up all the Jews, and started to shoot. Agnes’s mother died, and Agnes was shot in the shoulder. The shooting lasted a long time, and luckily Agnes was at the end of the line, so she got up and ran away.
She tried to find any shelter she could, as she was troubled by her shoulder. She saw a light coming from a cellar, and knocked on the door. Non-jews answered the door, and kindly let her in. They helped her with her would, but, unfortunately, were going to turn her in the next morning.
Luckily, in the morning, on January 18, 1945, the Russian army had arrived, and the Germans were gone. That day, a Jew helped Agnes find a member of her family. They found her father and brother.