Bio­gra­phie of Mar­git Horváth

Mar­git Hor­váth as naming patron of the foun­da­tion stands in for the 1.700 young Hun­ga­rian Jewish women who had been impri­soned here.

Bürgermeister Bernhard Brehl bei der offiziellen Einweihung des Gedenksteines, März 1980.
Mayor Bern­hard Brehl speaking at the offi­cial inau­gu­ra­tion of the memo­rial stone in March 1980.

She was gad been impri­soned here in KZ Wall­dorf from August to Novem­ber 1944. Her wil­ling­ness to start tal­king in her old age, after deca­des of stay­ing silent and keeping an exp­li­cit dis­tance to the Ger­man society, to expose her­self time and again to the pain of remem­be­ring the incon­ceivable hor­ror, had con­tri­bu­ted decisi­vely to the fact that the history of KZ Wall­dorf could be ela­bo­ra­ted in a so much detailed and bio­gra­phi­cally dif­fe­ren­tia­ted way. Her way of acting will have an effect far beyond the grave.

“When the memo­rial stone for KZ Außen­stelle Wall­dorf was inau­gu­ra­ted in 1980, I had been present.…”

Der Gedenkstein am Gelände des KZ-Außenlagers Walldorf.
The memo­rial stone on the grounds of KZ Außen­la­ger Walldorf.

But I did not say anything to any­body. I was not able to talk about it. I did not want to. I have often been her with my son Gábor. Time and again we have wal­ked along the path … Now I am old. You are asking me what had hap­pened to me here, and to all the other women…? It is the first time now that I am tel­ling about it: I was born in 1911; my family is ori­gi­na­ting from Kolozs­vár in Trans­syl­va­nia. During my childhood it belon­ged to Roma­nia, later to Hungary.

We were six bro­thers and sis­ters and had a beau­ti­ful family life. Our father was a lawyer, a man well respec­ted in the ent­ire town. We child­ren went to high school, we grew up bilin­gually, Roma­nian and Hun­ga­rian. After gra­dua­ting from school I became a court assis­tant, my sis­ter owned a hat par­lour. When our region was retur­ned to Hun­gary, life for us as a Jewish family became more and more dif­fi­cult. In March 1944 the Ger­man tro­ops mar­ched in. From then on, ever­y­thing went very quick: We had to dis­play the yel­low star, then we had to move into the ghetto, and a few weeks later we all ended up in Ausch­witz, my grand­mo­ther, my sis­ters along with their child­ren, uncles, aunts… there was a total of 74 per­sons from our family. All in the same train, in those cattle wagons — direc­tion Ausch­witz. My father still car­ried his brief­case with refe­ren­ces, let­ters of recom­men­da­tion, various docu­ments and char­ters. He thought it would be of use to him in Ausch­witz. That’s the way he was…

Postkarte Kolozsvár (gesprochen: Koloschwar, zu Deutsch Klausenburg) um 1940.
Post card of Kolosz­vár, (Ger­man: Klau­sen­burg) around 1940.

Landkarte mit ehemaligen ungarischen Gebieten Quelle: Chr. Gerlach: Das letzte Kapitel, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2002, S. 482-483.
Map of pre­viously Hun­ga­rian areas. From: Chr. Ger­lach: The Last Chap­ter. Deut­sche Verlags-Anstalt, 2002, pages. 482–483.
But you know what hap­pened there with elder gent­le­men. I came from Ausch­witz here to Wall­dorf in August 1944, toge­ther with my youn­ger sis­ter Irma and aunt Jolan. We belon­ged to the 1.700 women who were forced to work at Frank­furt air­port at that time. We did weep a lot for all the child­ren who had stayed back in Ausch­witz. My older sis­ter, too, had been gased there, toge­ther with her three little child­ren. I keep asking mys­elf time and again why I of all people have sur­vi­ved. All of us do this. When it was over, all women who had sur­vi­ved, above all, wan­ted to have a child. For many it was not pos­si­ble any­more. I was lucky. I gave birth to Gábor in 1949. His father had also been in Ausch­witz. He fared just as I did…“

Margit Horváth (geb. 1911) vor dem Rad eines ungarischen Ziehbrunnens um 1930.
Mar­git Hor­váth (born. 1911) in front of the wheel of a Hun­ga­rian draw well (about 1930).
„Das ist meine Familie. Sie sind alle in Auschwitz gestorben - außer einem Verwandten und mir,“ erzählt Margit Horváth (rechts, mit Hut). Hochzeitsgesellschaft, Kolozsvár, 1930.
“This is my family. They have all died in Ausch­witz — except for one rela­tive and mys­elf”, Mar­git Hor­váth says (right, with hat). Wed­ding party, Kolosz­vár, 1930.
Der Vater von Margit Horváth ca. 1943.
Mar­git Horváth’s father, about 1943.
Margit Horváth als junge Frau.
Mar­git Hor­váth as young woman.
Margit Horváth mit ihrem Sohn Gábor Juni 2000.
Mar­git Hor­váth with her son Gábor in June 2000.