BERN (Dec. 29)
A man who escaped from besieged Budapest less than a week ago told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that hundreds of thousands of “opponents” of the Szalasy regime, mainly Jews, have been murdered in recent weeks.
The identity of the JTA’s informant, a 33-year-old man who looks as if he were sixty, cannot be revealed, nor can the route he travelled in fleeing Hungary. All that can be said is that his flight was made possible through the bribing of Gestapo officials. He travelled for four days in coal cars, freight cars and, finally a sealed coach, with only a loaf of hard bread and a few lumps of sugar for food.
He described how, in the company of many other persons, he was arrested and taken to a factory in an isolated section of the city. There they were left for six days without food, during which many of the older prisoners succumbed and three women delivered children on the bare stone floor.
On the seventh day, those who had been baptized for at least 30 years and those married to non-Jews were separated from the others and sent to hard labor. The remainder were gassed or mowed down by machine guns.
During air raid alarms, he said, Christian workers were sent to shelters in the cellar, while Jews were forced to mount to the top floors of the buildings to which they had been assigned for slave labor. “From there,” he stated, “we had a grand view of the destruction caused by the bombs, and quickly got used to the raids.”