After Eliezer's father was summoned to a special council meeting, it was discovered that the ghetto was to be liquidated entirely. Departures were totake place street by street, starting the next day.
People began to prepare for their departure by packing essential items all night long.
Each of us will be allowed to bring our personal belongings. A backpack, some food, a few items of clothing. Nothing else.
The time has come....you must leave all this!
All Jews, outside! Hurry!
The Hungarian police used their rifle butts, their clubs to in-discriminately strike old men and women, children and cripples.
By eight o'clock in the morning, weariness had settled into ourveins, our limbs, our brains, like molten lead. Suddenly, there was shouting in the streets. Hungarian police had entered the ghetto.
One by one, the houses emptied and the streets filled with people carrying bundles. By ten o'clock, everyone was outside. The police were taking roll calls, once, twice, twenty times.
The heatwas oppressive. Sweat streamed from people's faces and bodies.Children were crying for water.
Water, Mother, I am thirsty!
My sisters and I were still allowed to move about, as wewere destined for the last convoy, and so we helped as best we could.
At last, at one o'clock in the afternoon came the signal to leave.The first group began to walk without another glance at the abandoned streets, the dead, empty houses, the gardens, the tombstones...
They passed me by, like beaten dogs, with never a glance in my direction. My family and I wouldn't have to follow their direction until much later.They must have envied me.
They passed me by, one after the other, my teachers, myfriends, the others, some of whom I had once feared, some of whom I had found ridiculous, all those whose lives I had shared for years.
The street resembled fairgrounds deserted in haste. There was a little of everything: suitcases, briefcases, bags, knives, dishes, banknotes, papers, faded portraits. All the things one planned to take along and finally left behind. They had ceased to matter.