Alice Grosz

Summer 1945 Budapest, Hungary 

One day, Sándor suddenly returns to Budapest and to Alice. With him are his brothers, who have also survived. But Sándor’s wife and three daughters have been murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.  

AFTER THE GERMAN OCCUPATION of Hungary, Sándor was imprisoned in various labour camps. As the Soviet troops approached, he was forced to participate in a so-called “death march”. Sándor was liberated by the U.S. Army in May 1945.

When Sándor returned to Budapest, he and Alice were reunited and married the following year. In 1948 they moved to Sándor’s hometown of Jászberény. The couple opened a clothing store, and in 1954 they welcomed a son, Tomas. Before the war, there were about 600 Jews in Jászberény. Now there were only about a hundred of them left.

One autumn day in 1956, Alice saw the words: “Jew, we will not send you to Auschwitz” written on a wall in Jászberény. She understood the anti-Semitic graffiti to mean “we will murder you right here, on the spot”. This made Alice make up her mind. She and her family were not going to stay in Hungary. In July 1957, Alice and Sándor got off the ferry in Trelleborg, Sweden, together with little Tomas, who would soon turn three.