Glazek (Seemann), Marianne

Glazek (Seemann), Marianne

Budapest (Hungary)

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1922, Glazek was the daughter of a medical doctor in private practice. She, her sister, and parents lived in a nice apartment. Glazek was about twenty years old and had recently married when the Hungarian Nazi Party, the Arrow Cross, marched into Budapest and paraded with a band down Main Street.

Although the family had heard rumors about how the Jews were being treated, they did not believe them. After the Arrow Cross called the Germans in, things began to happen. The Budapest community remained intact after other Jewish communities in Hungary had been liquidated. (They heard stories that Eichmann had no more trains, or he would have taken the Budapest community also.)

The Jews were forced to leave their homes. All their goods were confiscated, and they had to wear the yellow Star of David. Glazek, her parents, sister, husband, and sister-in-law moved from house to house. Many people lived together in one room, with little food. The Jews were restricted to living in designated Jewish houses that had specific sponsors. “Certain houses were under Swedish protection, or Swiss, or Papal protection, and the occupants were given passes,” explains Glazek. They lived in a Swiss house first, in a bunker. In November 1944 her family moved to a Swedish house. (It wasn’t until the 1960s that Glazek discovered the Swedish house had been a Wallenberg house.) She remembers that it was a nice house, better than the Swiss house.

In December 1944 Glazek was pregnant, and the deportations began. The Arrow Cross ordered the Jews to assemble in the court yard, and they saw Jews being marched to the Danube and shot on the shore. Her husband was sent off to a labor camp, and her father was marched off with eighty other men. She and her mother remained.

Glazek gave birth to a daughter in a hospital with no mattresses or linen and ankle deep water on the floor. She and two other women with babies shared two beds, and no family was present. In the final weeks of the war, Glazek was living in a bunker in a Swiss house. The Russians continually bombarded the city and there was little food. Glazek carried her baby with her everywhere as she roamed the city streets searching for food. The city was devastated: there was no electricity, no gas, and no food.

She and the baby survived (the baby had pneumonia), as well as her mother and sister, with whom she was later reunited. All the others perished. Glazek spent the next months in a DP camp near Linz, Austria, where she met and then worked for her future husband, E. Glazek. He was a civilian in the American army, a welfare officer of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). He was also a gentile who had been born in Poland. She worked for him for two years as a secretary. They later moved to the United States to join his family.

As administrator of the DP camp, Mr. Glazek accumulated evidence that through bribery, Nazis and Communists were being granted visas to the United States. He wrote letters reporting this to his congressman and was called to Washington, D.C., to testify. Mrs. Glazek believes that because of this testimony, her husband was blacklisted. He was forced to resign his post. After he attended law school, he took the bar exam five time and each time he was rejected. She and her children believe he was rejected because he was blacklisted.

After moving to the United States, Glazek had five more children. She worked as a medical technician for 20 years and today has a Ph.D. in educational psychology. Her daughter born in Budapest was the youngest Jewish survivor of that city.

Interview Information:
Date: March 4, 1986
Interviewer: Esther Weine
Format: Video recording