Life Changes 1944

I was there.

Susanna attended a Jewish school for four years. She did well as a student and got one of two seats that were reserved for Jews in a middle school. There she and another Jewish girl called Erzsi were subjected to antisemitism by one of the teachers.

The Hungarian authorities withdrew rights from the Jews. Susanna's father was now no longer allowed to sell certain kind of goods. During the spring of 1944 the Germans forced all Jews in Makó to move into a ghetto. At that time Susanna was 11 years old.

Susanna Christensen (1933), Hungary

Susanna Christensen (1933), Hungary

Consider here the changes in Susanna’s life in 1944.

An Antisemitic Teacher

Susanna talks about the antisemitic teacher at the middle school.

1) Listen to Susanna as she talks about the changes in her life that took place in 1944. Answer the questions.

  • 1a. What was the reason why only Susanna and another Jewish girl could attend middle school?

  • 1b. In middle school Susanna and her friend noticed that one of the teachers was antisemitic. What does Susanna say about what they were subjected to? How do you think they felt?

Jews are Deprived of Their Rights

Susanna talks about the regulations that deprived Jews of their rights and how this affected her father.

2) Listen to Susanna as she talks about how Jews were deprived of their rights. Answer the question.

  • 2a. In what way did the anti-Jewish laws and regulations affect Susanna and her family?

The Hungarian government limited the rights of the Jews

Many countries in Western Europe were occupied by Nazi Germany during the first two years after the outbreak of the war in 1939. From the beginning Hungary was neutral, but soon the country engaged on the side of Nazi Germany and Hungarian soldiers entered the war.

1943-1944 saw things worsening for the German Army on the Eastern Front. Hungary then wanted to draw back its troops. At the same time the country´s leadership secretly negotiated with the Allies, Great Britain and France, about changing sides. In March 1944, when the Nazi leadership in Germany understood that Hungary was trying to withdraw from their alliance, they decided to occupy the country.

Even before the occupation the Hungarian government had introduced laws and regulations that limited the rights of the Jews.

The Situation of the Jewish Population Changes

A slideshow about the situation of the Jewish Population in Makó.

Extra Material