Interviewee: Istvan Domonkos
Title: Miksa Domonkos in the Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest
Place and Date: Budapest, Hungary - 1942
The picture was taken in the Dohany Street Synagogue in 1942. It show the reservist officers who had established the Committee of the Jewish Ex-Servicemen. My father, Miksa Domonkos, is the 3rd from left in the 1st row.
At High Holidays they tried to convince as many officers who had been in World War I as possible to come, so that they would show that regardless of the anti-Jewish laws, we did have a past. That it wasn't true that Jews tried to avoid army service, but they did their patriotic duties. Among the circumstances at that time it was a significant thing, that in spite of the anti-Jewish law they put on their uniform and went to the synagogue.
In 1942 my father met an old schoolmate, Sandor Eppler, who was an official of the Jewish community. Eppler discussed with the leaders of the Jewish community to employ this officer Domonkos, who was one of the prominent figures among the old, Jewish officers, ex-servicemen, with a modest salary. Namely the Jewish community had to care for the clothing, the provision with shoes, boots, clothes, underwear etc. of the Jewish forced laborers. The ex-servicemen Jewish officers set up a committee, whose task was to supply officially the Jewish forced laborer companies. The War Department greeted this initiative, because it wasn't their aim to have those children freeze there. So they employed my father at the Jewish community with a modest salary. He became one of the leaders of this action.