Survivors' Stories

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
Elie Wiesel

Peter Somogyi

  • From: Hungary (Pecs)
  • Liberated from: Poland (Auschwitz Birkenau)
  • Deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau from: Hungary (Pecs)
  • Current Location: USA (New York-Pleasantville)
  • Year of birth: 1933

Brief Bio

My twin brother Thomas and I were the youngest of 3 children born to an observant Jewish Family in 1933. On September 1, 1939 my brother and I began a Jewish elementary school, the same day WWII started. On March 19, 1944 German troops invaded Hungary. My father was soon taken away and unbeknownst to us where, ultimately sent to Dachau. My family were deported to a ghetto. On July 6, 1944 we were loaded onto cattle cars with over 80 people, including my extended family. Upon arriving at Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp Birkenau, Dr. Mengele was looking for twins. My mother told us to say that we are 9 years old instead of 11 hoping we can stay together. On the 3rd time Mengele asked, my Mother said that we are twins, 2 SS grabbed both of us and taken to F lager without a chance to say goodbye to my Mother and Sister. We were immediately tattooed  #A17454. Then we met an older twin who was in charge of the younger ones, and when I asked when can I see my mother, he pointed to the flames saying that what happened to your mother. My brother and I were subjected to the twin experiments. We were the last group of twins, therefore luckily we were not subjected to deadly experiments, that previous twins suffered. One day another doctor selected all the twins to be sent to the gas chamber, however Dr. Mengele stopped the selection because he was not finished experimenting with our bodies. A few days before liberation we were lined up for a death march, and gradually the shooting stopped and the SS disappeared.

We kept walking to Auschwitz where on January 27 afternoon I saw the first Russian soldier. We were liberated. It took us 3 days to get to Auschwitz and it took us 2 ½ months to get back home. We went back to school, my father survived Dachau, came home and he remarried and we were a family again. Through the Zionist movement, my brother and I escaped Hungary and it took us 6 weeks to get to Israel. 2 years of kibbutz life, then close to 3 year of army, including officer’s school. 1956 we left Israel for England where I stayed 2 years, then Canada for 12 years, where I got married to another hidden survivor, have 2 children. We moved to USA in 1970 where our family grew, our son and daughter got married, and now we have 4 grandkids, our joy.

What does Auschwitz mean to you? 

Hatred, cruelty and losing most of my family

My message for future generations is…

Never forget and keep telling the story

Who will be accompanying you on this journey

My Grandson Noah Trungold

He is 20 years old College student and very involved with our family history and the Holocaust.