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George Messing

Tennessee Holocaust Commission -

Knoxville, Tennessee
Born: 1933 Budapest, Hungary
Hidden Child, Survior : Hungary

“We realized this was not good and understood that we were being collected for worse things. As they marched us away single file, my brother and I slipped out of line and escaped,“ recalls George Messing.

When George was ten, his father was taken away by Hungarian authorities and forced to work at a military uniform factory. George's mother moved her young sons out of the city and found a job.

When Germany invaded Hungary the following March, George's father bribed a guard and got away. “He came to us and took my brother and me to a children's safe house that had a Swiss flag outside. We thought it neutral territory and we would be out of danger there. My mother went into hiding in a small town called Kiraly with her cousin. She gave us her address should we need it.“ A week later his father was taken to Mauthausen concentration camp.

When ten-year-old George and his eight-year-old brother slipped away from the children's home, they went to their father's former place of business. Hungarian soldiers saw them there. “They admired our escape. They said how smart we were and spared us.“ They took them to another children's home. “Several months later, the Nazis raided this shelter, too. We escaped again,“ says George. They searched for their mother. A sympathetic Hungarian soldier located her in the Budapest ghetto and brought her out.

They managed to rent an apartment where no one knew they were Jewish. “We lived on that fifth floor until it was over,“ George recalls. A year later, his father returned. He had walked two hundred miles. They left for Paris and never looked back.