Confined to the Ghetto 1944

I was there.

In May 1944 the ghetto was set up in Mezőcsát. Most of the residents reacted passively, without emotions or reflections.

László Keller (1928), Hungary

László Keller (1928), Hungary

Consider here what happened to László in Mezőcsát in 1944

Confined to the Ghetto

László Keller talks about being taken to the ghetto.

1) Listen to László Keller as he talks about being taken to the ghetto. Answer the questions.

  • 1a. What do you think about the following quote from the clip? Share your opinion in 100-150 words: “The others were passively observing us. Most of them didn’t swear, laugh or cry, they didn’t feel for us either. Some sort of passiveness, I assume they were frightened of the war. (…) It was advisable not to show any emotions in a case like that.”

  • 1b. What do you think motivated people to behave the way they behaved?

  • 1c. In this clip, László also describes some negative reactions on behalf of the non-Jewish people who were observing the Jews being taken to the ghetto: “There was also a few negative examples: few people laughed or mocked us although it was a sorrowful scene.” Why do you think people laughed? Have you ever laughed or seen someone laugh during a critical or traumatic event?

  • 1d. László described that some people instigated, some laughed, some mocked, and some were passive. What are other reactions you might expect in a situation like this one? What circumstances or characteristics contribute to an individual’s responses in times of crisis?

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Life Changes 1936-1944
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Forced Labour 1944

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