The March of Death from Serbia to Hungary (September, 1944) and the Slaughter of Cservenka
During 1943–1944 over 6,000 Hungarian Jews worked long and hard hours in the Bor copper mines in Serbia. As the Germans withdrew, they were sent westward in railway cars. Some were rescued by Tito’s partisans. Only a few reached the Serbo-Hungarian border alive. The worst fate awaited the remaining 1,500–2,000 men, who were all murdered by the SS and their bodies were thrown into a pit in Cservenka. Four or five survived the mass shootings, fled wounded and were liberated by the Soviet Army. One of these is Zalman Teichman, who recorded his experiences quite soon after the war. Hungarian officers commanded this huge transport of 3,000 marchers, which stretched back two kilometers. Strangely, none of the Jews tried to hide with the Serbians. In Belgrade many Serbians wanted to help the Jews and were killed. All along, the Hungarian and German soldiers beat the Jews. Serbians continued unsuccessfully to attempt to supply the marchers with food. Much of the time, it rained and tramping through mud became difficult. On crossing the border into Hungary, the inhuman behavior and killings by the Hungarians increased and many died. Eventually, the forced march reached the town of Cservenka and the beatings and tortures became almost insufferable. There, the Jews were brought to the edge of a long pit and shot so that they fell onto the bodies of others. The author was critically wounded but still alive. The next morning, still bleeding, he fled into the cornfields, pursued by German soldiers. He was saved by Serbians who fed him milk, but no doctor was to be found. Over the next week his condition deteriorated until he was moved to another village where a doctor treated his wounds. After eleven more days, the Russians appeared and took good care of him.