Ocskay László

The Hungarian Schindler: A forgotten Righteous Among the Nations

Shlomo Beck's mother was one of 2,500 Jews that owed their lives to Hungarian army officer Ocskay László; 'He brought her fake documents, he really saved her… he was more than an angel,' Beck says

Attila Somfalvi |
Published: 04.28.22, 15:58
For the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israeli theaters are screening Captain László Ocskay: The Forgotten Hero, a movie that tells the story of a Hungarian Righteous Among the Nations.
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  • The film is based on the true story of Ocskay László, a Hungarian army officer who saved about 2,500 Jewish lives in the darkest hours of World War II.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    אוצ'קאי לאסלו הגיבור הנשכח סרט תיעודי סינימטק תל אביב הונגריה שינדלר
    אוצ'קאי לאסלו הגיבור הנשכח סרט תיעודי סינימטק תל אביב הונגריה שינדלר
    Ocskay László
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    Amongst the Jews that László saved was Shlomo Beck's mother. "He brought her fake documents, he really saved her. Also many others," Beck said in an interview with Ynet.
    "I heard about this man from my mother. She ran from place to place, and during one of those days came someone from the Arrow Cross Party - the Hungarian Nazis - and said to her 'don't worry'. She thought he would turn her in, he brought her to the Jewish committee and from there they went to Ocskay's camp. They didn't ask her for money.
    More and more people started coming and it wasn't enough for 200 people, so they moved into an abandoned Jewish high school and more and more people came there."
    "He definitely saved her," said Beck about László. "He gave her fake documents as if she was Christian."
    "One time when they wanted to take people from the camp, that was supposedly a camp that sewed uniforms and worked for the Hungarian army, they wanted to take people to the Danube to shoot them and take them out. [László] was an officer in World War I and was injured, so he volunteered to manage this camp. He came limping to the Danube and began shouting at them, 'theses are my people, they do important work', and they immediately took them back to the camp."
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    אוצ'קאי לאסלו הגיבור הנשכח סרט תיעודי סינימטק תל אביב הונגריה שינדלר
    אוצ'קאי לאסלו הגיבור הנשכח סרט תיעודי סינימטק תל אביב הונגריה שינדלר
    Ocskay László
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    Dr. Kollarik Tamás, the director of the movie, said he heard stories of the "Hungarian Schindler" for the first time while in high school in Budapest in 2004. Tamás conducted three years of research, with the help of Israeli and European representatives, in which he ventured to discover survivors that László saved.
    Beck's mother was one of the characters featured in the movie. "A mutual friend connected me to the director, and he asked 'can I come to interview you with your mother', I said yes. That same day they came and interviewed my mom and me, two years before she passed away. She was 92 then."
    Beck shares that his mother didn't recall all the details from the traumas she faced, but remembered László and what he did for her.
    "What's horrifying isn't the dogs or the concentration camps and not the number [tattooed] on the arm. The evil, the persistence, in this context - Ocskay was more than an angel."
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