Andrew Fuchs: My Savior, Raoul Wallenberg

Dear reader; please let me introduce myself, before I commence my story. My name is Andrew Fuchs. I was born in 1936 in Budapest, Hungary. This story is related to my persecution, as a young Jewish child during 1944-45. I hope that the reader will understand, that this story comes from the memory of a traumatized 8 years old, who retained only patches of mental images of that terrible period.

I lived with my parents -who were merchants at the time- and with my sister in a modest family home in the suburbs. During the war years, the government obliged me, – just like all Hungarian Jews- to wear the yellow David Star at all times. As a 6 and half years old, I could not comprehend this. I recall, that later, the authorities confiscated the radio sets from every Jewish home. The ultimate purpose of these and many other discriminating laws and regulations were to first isolate and then finally annihilate the Jews. One day suddenly my family with other Jewish families were herded together like animals and forcibly moved to designated buildings marked with yellow star. I still remember the address at Rákóczy Street 51. Later, from this address we had been escorted by the paramilitary members of the Hungarian Arrow Cross Party to the collection point at the Tisza Kálmán square. I can still recall this experience to this day, as we were marching with hands up in the air, being subjected to all kind of contemptuous jibes and curses from some of the passers by who were hateful of the Jews. Someone had even spat at me, from the window of a passing streetcar. From the Tisza Kálmán square the whole rounded up crowd were herded to the Synagogue at Dohány Street, for farther processing.

This was the place where I had first seen Mr. Wallenberg. He managed to took my family and many others back to our Rákóczy street 51 dwelling, temporary succeeding to delay our ”processing” This was the place where I seen my parents the last time, when the ”arrow cross” members hauled them away somewhat later, enforcing a new law ‘ which decreed to collect all Jews between the age of 16 to 50 (or was it 16 to 60 I am not so sure,) and send them to concentration camps. Mr.

Wallenberg had come again- with German escort- to collect me, my sister, as well as 3 or 4 other children who were left behind and alone. It is necessary to explain at this point, that Mr. Wallenberg needed the escort of the German Army in order to protect us from the ”arrow crosses”, who were armed and uniformed members of the Hungarian Nazi Party, volunteering for these so called ”law enforcement tasks”. These were men with the instinct of predators. The times were so dangerous, that we were in constant move, never staying more than 2 days at one place. Later he to ok us to a place at the address at Thököly A venue, in the game district where my family lived before. Our group of children remained here for a while, together with older Jewish people who were there before we arrived.

Mr. Wallenberg, who was a Swedish citizen, had obtained some kin d of formal protection here. Later I learned that the buildings were supposed to have diplomatic, or ”extra territorial” status. However this protection did not mean much to the ”arrow crosses” who periodically broke into our place to terrorize us. For example, they orchestrated mock executions by lining us up in front of a wall and then left us standing. At one time, they woke me up by cold water, when I had fallen asleep standing there. I counted myself among the lucky ones, since I witnessed the murder of an elderly man there. After incidents like these, Mr. Wallenberg re-activated our constant moving from one place to the next one, until after many such moves, we ended up at our last shelter at Dob street 80-90. Unfortunately, the ”arrow crosses” shortly after have discovered this place again and continued their harassing and terrorizing routines here too. In one instance, I had witnessed the execution of Jewish Youths in the courtyard of this building who were daringly made a failed rescue attempt, by dressing up themselves as ”arrow crosses”. I want to emphasize, that these ill famed ”arrow crosses” had far surpassed in cruelty of any German soldier I had known in my individual experiences and had continued to brutalize us, despite Mr. Wallenberg numerous protestations against the violations of our protected status. These are some of my recollections of these historical times, but there are so many others, that if I would make a list, it would fill up a book.

Finally, we were liberated by the Soviet Army, for which I am forever thankful. Also, I am eternally grateful to Mr. Wallenberg, a true righteous person- if ever lived one- who saved me and many other Jewish lives during this period. I am also appreciative of others, who with Mr. Wallenberg together risked their lives to help us. Among these were religious Hungarians, who out of true human sympathy, hidden many Jews from deadly persecution. I can name the members of the Hungarian Presbyterian Church, many of whom distinguished themselves in this regard.

Well, this is a sad little story of a sad little child, who has lost his parents in these inhuman conditions when he was 8 years old. However this story does not end there; In spite of all the horrors I had experienced through, God made me to survive to remember, but also to grow up and find happiness in my life among my precious loved ones. This continuation of life and the victory of love over hatred is the most miraculous and uplifting legacy of my Savior, Dear Mr. Wallenberg.

Andrew Fuchs
Holocaust survivor