Children of Saul

Mária Gömöri

Budapest, 25 November 1925 – KL Stutthof, subcamp Korben, 11-15 December 1944

Together with the other Jews of Kiskunhalas, Maria was taken to the brick factory in Szeged by the gendarmes. On 25 June 1944, she and her family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. On arrival, she survived the selection. She spent the next six weeks in Birkenau and was then taken by a transport of 2,800 people to Stutthof concentration camp. Mária was assigned prisoner number 64576, her sister Gizella Gömöri prisoner number 64575. She was soon transferred to a labor camp of the militarized Nazi construction organization, the Organisation Todt. She probably dug trenches and anti-tank pits first in Argenau (now Gniewkowo), then in Thorn and finally in Korben (now Chorab). They lived in huts made of plywood, their daily ration of bread was reduced from 50 to 25 decagrams. They were brutally treated by Latvian and Lithuanian SS guards. As the cold weather set in, more and more people fell ill and the death rate rose sharply. In the last three weeks of 1944, 168 forced laborers died, two thirds of them Hungarians. Among them was Mária Gömöri. As in the case of several of her companions, the cause of death was diagnosed as heart failure (Herzschwäche). The actual diagnosis is unclear.