Mió Arató

* 1930  †︎ 2022

  • Before she became ill, she called gas companies at least twice a year that there’s a gas leak in her apartment. Her mother, father, younger brother died. Should I tell you a little excerpt from her story? How she escaped: when the family went in front of Mengele and waved to her mom, dad - I don’t know which was the way for the gas chamber, say left - mom, dad, brother, she was also fifth and they were send to but Erzsi turned around because she hadn't seen such a beautiful person before and wanted to look at him again and then Mengele gestured her to the other side. That's how she escaped. And she told such details that, as you can see in the movies and a lot of people don’t believe, they were ordered to line up in the morning and the one who can’t stand got “chim-bang”. And once she bent down for a damn melon peel, she wanted to eat it and then she was beaten. It’s all a story she told, so it was true. The Americans freed that part, many dead were lying around, Erzsi was also lying there and a soldier saw that she was alive, she was blinking and picked her up from there and took her to the hospital and so on and so on and so forth.

  • My grandmother was cooking on an iron stove and created really as many portion as many people were there. Not just the close family, it was sometimes 20 portions. We were really starving because in the basement people lose 10 kilos. But the starvation is not a bad memory for me because when you have nothing to eat you don’t really feel the deprivation. There was a lot of snow in the winter and we drank snow. A brave went up for a bucket of snow and we drank it. Once we got to the horsemeat, we could live well. I would even tell you how the shift came in the basement. Once a couple of Russian soldiers came to see if there was a German soldier. Then there was silence and two Russian officers came and my grandmother apparently learned from the great Russian novels that if they were happy to wait for someone, they were waiting with salt and bread. And my grandmother offered them and they spoke French all night. We didn't understand a stinking word. My grandparents, my mom, and the two Russian officers talked overnight. My sister received a pressed picture from one of them, on which it was written that "in the middle of the war, for a little Hungarian girl from Uncle Soldier." When they left in the morning they told the adults to hide us now because those who are coming now will not be like them.

  • We lived at the Krisztina Boulevard, Krisztina Boulevard 71 which is now 17. Near the castle, across the main post office which was a very bad sport regarding the siege. They lived near the Keleti Railway station. She said (her grandmother): “ Take Ribizli to Uncle Pali” - Ribizli was the nickname of the small girl. And we went and Ribizli was crying very much and said: “I don’t want to go these strangers, let’s find where my mother is instead.” Since her mother was hiding in a different place. She (the little girl) guided me to a different direction, I thought okay let’s go to that direction maybe she will calm down a little. I remember the way we went, next to the Vérmező. Later a German soldier came to us very gently and asked why the little girl is crying. I pretended as I did not understand him. We met no one on the way to Keleti and arrived to uncle Pali. Just as my grandmother thought they understood the situation and welcomed the little girl with the utmost kindness and she stayed there.

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    Budapest, 27.06.2021

    délka: 01:14:01
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Príbehy 20. storočia
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One time, all of a sudden, two Russian officers came to the basement the grandmother knew from many novels, that if they were happy to meet someone, they had to be offered salt and bread. All night, the grandparents talked in French with the Russian officers in the basement

Mió's mother
Mió's mother
zdroj: from Arató Mió

Mió Arató was born on March 4th, 1930. She lived with her parents and sister until 1942. Later the parents got divorced and she lived with her mother and grandparents. During the 2nd World War Mió and her family helps many jews to hide in their apartments in downtown Budapest. Mió’s family had taken real risks in these situations. Fake papers were also made in the apartment, which the children had to dirt down to make them look used. Many stayed in the apartment for a day or so, all of which posed a risk to the family. In total, about 25 people had turned up and stayed with the family. After the war Mió become a teacher and worked as it for more than 35 years. After her retirement she continued to work as a teacher. Mió passed away at the age of 91 in 2022.