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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Desider Stern - Christmas '44

Around Christmas, a friend for former time, the director of the theater Paul Barnay contacted him per telephone to ask if he could offer him shelter. Mr. Stern convinced Richard Román who also knew him

 to protect him. He was in poor state, open feet... No clothes. Mr. Román gave him the clothes of his brother who went but never came back. They took care of him from Christmas until the liberation on the 16th of January 1945 by the Soviet army.

Mr. Stern during a search for bread, using is X leg walk to avoid being controlled got caught by a hungarian Nazi. He asked for the papers... looked at them and asked Mr. Stern to follow him. He walked behind him with a limp when a Soviet fighter plane overflies the roof and start shooting at them. The Officer gave him his papers back and ran off.

Mr. Stern went to Mr. Román who was living in the 4th floor... the house was empty: everyone was hiding in the cellars. He thought about what to do next... standing at the window... and a Russian plane shot at him, the bullet went through the window and broke the mirror hanging on the wall behind him.

This day, Mr. Stern survived 2 shootings...

Mr Stern slept there and the day after, he hobble back to the house and didn't leave it form there one.
They were living very frugally.

On the 16th of January, the soviets occupied Pest... but Buda was still in the hands of the Nazi, although no-one could go out because this part of the city was encircled.

As Mr. Elbl and Mr. Stern were in the labor camp... they planned that Mr. Stern would regularly phone the office with the name "Matiaschosky" not "Stern". He phoned him and once they met for a coffee... until it was too risky. They met in the Hungaria Kurut 145, Mr. Elbl went down, met Mr. Stern at the door and they drove to a forest. Mr. Elbl who had 2 small children asked Mr. Stern what he thought of the situation. Mr. Stern said: take all the things you can and drive as far as possible. He gave his a contact in Madrid ( the patent attorney) where he should notify himself after the war. He called him some time later... no answer. Once he succeeded to reach him to ask when he would be living. The answer: "some time before christmas"

The bombings were intensifying and Mr. Stern knew the end of the war war near.

The swedish Embassy had a second branch office in Pest where Mr. Stern was often going. An official asked him if he wanted a swedish pass. Mr. Stern was already in possession of a spanish one... but accepted the proposal notifying her it was a bit late to give the passes away.

In the safe of the branch office, thousands of protective passes where stored, with which 1000s of lives could have been saved. Mr. Stern described Mr. Wallenberg as "so correct that he wouldn't give one more than what was agreed with the government".

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