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Before the War
The Holocaust
Displaced Persons Camps
Where Can We Go?
The Journey
Welcome to Canada
New Lives
Canadian Immigration Overview
II. Into the Ghetto
The Germans moved into Hungary around March of 1944. With the help of the Hungarian police, the Germans quickly rounded-up all of the Jews and placed them, with the exception of the community leaders, in the Matesalka
Ghetto. Jewish community leaders, including my father, were brought by the SS to one of the synagogues, interrogated, and immediately transported to
Auschwitz-Birkenau. I never saw my father again.

The Hungarian police came around and they put us all in the ghetto. Part of the town was barricaded with fences and they made a ghetto out of it. The ghetto was the holding area for all the Jews in the surrounding area, not only the people of Matesalka. Conditions in the ghetto were terrible with no kitchen or sanitation facilities. Ten people or so to a single room. I slept on the floor. I was with my mother, her parents, my aunts, and sister.     
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The Nazis revived the medieval term ghetto to describe the compulsory "Jewish Quarters" often in the poorest section of the city, where Jews from the surrounding areas were forced to live. Surrounded by barbed wire or walls, the ghettos were sealed before the deportation of Jews to the concentration camps. Established mostly in Eastern Europe, the ghettos were characterized by overcrowding, starvation and forced labour.
A place of worship for Jewish people.
Abbreviation for Schutzstaffel (Defence Protective Units), usually written with two lightning symbols. Initially established as Hitler's personal bodyguard, the SS was transformed into a larger organization by Heinrich Himmler. Although some SS units were assigned to the battlefield, the organization is best known for its role in the destruction of European Jewry.
First established as a Nazi concentration camp in 1940 at Oswiecim, Poland primarily for Polish prisoners. In 1942 it was expanded to include the extermination camp-Birkenau (Auschwitz II) and the labour camp-Buna-Monowitz (Auschwitz III). Surrounded by numerous sub camps, it grew to become the largest of all the Nazi concentration camps. Approximately 1.1 to 1.6 million Jews and 100,000 other victims were murdered or died at Auschwitz. At liberation, only 7600 prisoners — those not forced on death marches — were found alive.
Leslie's Map
I. Childhood in Hungary
II. Into the Ghetto
III. The Concentration Camps
IV. At Liberation
V. Refugee Life
VI. A Home in Canada
VII. Reflections