Bradley Shedd - CSE 2642/826 – A2 Go to the Movies- Apr. 27,2011/4pm/Apr. 27, 2011

                The story starts with a 15 year-old boy, György "Gyuri" Köves, and we are seeing the Holocaust thru his eyes. The movie is titled “Fateless” and the character I will be focusing on is the main character Gyuri. This is an autobiography of how Gyuri was able to be happy in a concentration camp. This true story begins with a Jewish boy named, Gyuri wearing his yellow Star of David on his coat pocket in school.

                Gyuri lives with his dad Mr. Köves and his step-mom Mrs. Köves in Budapest. After Gyuri came home from school, his parents were meeting with Mr. Sutiao in the living room. Mr. Sutiao asked if they had any goods and he will look after them for the time being. This meant that the Köves gave the man some jewelry but still kept the jewelry box a secret.

                The Köves live in an expensive house with fine china and a huge dining room table. There are expensive and shiny looking objects all around the house. The father now announces that he will be leaving for forced labor in the morning. However, Gyuri is preoccupied with meeting a girl on the staircase and misses his father’s announcements. She wants to run off and play cards, Gyuri promises that he will meet up with her later. Then, Gyuri walks back to the family meeting and here is where the grandma and grandpa are introduced. Everyone in the Köves family is wearing yellow stars of David stitched onto their coats. The whole family agrees that wearing the yellow stars made of cloth is a shame. Questions are raised about why thousands of years of war are brought to the Jews. Grandpa Viti tells of secret intelligence allies squeezing out Poland, and now Poland is in trouble. They Köves agree that they are safe in Hungary.

That same day, young Gyuri is learning Hebrew with his bishop. Later, Gyuri meets up with his neighbors, Seiner and Fleichman. Together they go to buy food and goods at the black market. When they return dinner is prepared and the father is packed and ready to go to the forced labor camp. Mr. Köves is trying to fast forward the time and wish that he and the family can soon sit together again over dinner. Everyone says their goodbyes and the father tells his son bye.

The war continues and Gyuri is on his way to see his mom. Gyuri explains that he does not want to live with her and he leaves her house. The town in Budapest is on a curfew, but Gyuri has a pass. The following day Gyuri awakens to Sutiao coming into the room with gifts for his step-mom. Gyuri goes outside and finds Anna Maria, his girlfriend. She states that there is no point of wearing a rotten yellow star, and Gyuri agrees. That night, Gyuri packs for a trip to the camp for forced labor. His neighbors Steiner and Fleichmann suggested for Gyuri to take the bus, and he did to the forced labor camp.

Next, Gyuri arrives at a bus stop and gets off with other boys wearing yellow stars on their coat pocket. They have now left the Jewish quarter. The boys are grouped with the men and are moved like cattle to the stables. The stables were crowded and muddy. Later that night there are sirens and explosions. The next day soldiers were screaming at the Jews saying that they signaled the British troops there and they will be killed. Gyuri now knows that he can be killed at any time. There is a train going to Auschwitz in Poland and the German soldiers are loading it with healthy workers. Gyuri lied about his age and said he was 16 in order to stay alive.  The families stayed together tried to exchange their valuables for food. It is cold and snowing and they don’t even have any water.

Now, Gyuri and everyone arrive in Auschwitz but women and males were separated. Gyuri has heard that there are gas chambers around and the older people whom couldn’t work there were gassed. Gyuri gets assigned a number that is his new name now, 64929. Gyuri is now traveling to Zeitz where there are showers and crematories. His friends are now gone so he is around complete strangers now. But, if someone wore a yellow triangle upside down with the letter “U” in the middle then they are a Hungarian Jew. Then, if someone wore a green upside down triangle with a “Z” in the middle then they are murderers and they uphold the law in the camp. Gyuri runs into his neighbor from Ukraine, Bandi. Bandi said he was living in Ukraine for four years.

The next morning, a bell rings for breakfast. Gyuri is served cold coffee in a tin bowl. Bandi and Gyuri live in block five and they wear clothes with black and white stripes with a striped hat. After breakfast, they go to work on the train tracks shoveling rock off train carts. Gyuri tried to stop working because he had blisters on his hands and body lice was biting into his skin on his back. The German soldier blows his whistle and forces Gyuri back to work. Bandi tries to help Gyuri by forcing him to remember how good home was and they will be there one day fulfilling their goal of walking the streets with women.

That night, some of the Jews are gathered around in a circle praying under a blanket with candle light. Gyuri and Bandi are discussing that it is the only hope they have left is to pray to live through tomorrow. They all stand in formation throughout the day and some of them fall over and die from famine. Gyuri’s friend from the brick stables died earlier today.

The following morning, Gyuri is marching with the others to the rock labor yard. There are butchered bodies and famine corpses laying everywhere. Gyuri was only given crumbs this morning for breakfast. Gyuri notices a fat German soldier eating spaghetti in a sloppy way slurping it up. After working, Gyuri makes a deal with a fellow prisoner for some potatoes and salt now for his ration of breakfast tomorrow. The rock labor yards have just been bombed. So now the soldiers are making the Jews stack sacks of grain for forced labor. After working and stacking grain, Bandi notices Gyuri has body lice that ate infected sores all over his body. Bandi gives Gyuri his jacket. Gyuri falls over and over because his left knee is infected and swollen to the size of a basketball. Gyuri falls down again and doesn’t get back up.

Later that night, Gyuri wakes up next to his friend that smokes from back at the bus station, but he is dead. Gyuri survives for a couple of days by eating both his rations and his dead friend’s rations. Gyuri continued to sleep with his dead friend and got a really bad fever. Gyuri now is exhausted and there is no strength left in his body. German soldiers come and strip Gyuri of his clothes and stack him in a wheel barrow with other naked dead people onto a truck bed. The naked group is hosed off with water and the survivors are picked from the dead.

The next day, Gyuri awakens in a big bed with a huge red quilt and pillow. Gyuri’s knee is back to original size, because it was lanced and cleaned by a doctor. There is a nurse that brings Gyuri hot soup and plenty of water. Next, there are some American soldiers that arrive outside of his window. Gyuri gets up and walks outside. A soldier asks Gyuri if he smokes and hands him a cigarette and he says “No, thank-you.” Gyuri speaks good English and the soldier recommends that he goes to Switzerland in Sweden and study at a university. Gyuri wants to go back home to Budapest instead. So the American soldier boards Gyuri onto a Humvee. In this scene Gyuri is in a moral dilemma to look for family and friends. He could have left and lived a carefree life in Sweden instead. The soldier now reports that the others whom Gyuri is riding with are all going to Hungary on their own free will. The American soldiers will take them all as far as the zone border where then they will be in the Soviets hands.

Next, in this particular scene the Jewish ex-prisoners are all in a wash room. There was one man that never took off his shirt. They all approached the shirted man and forced him to remove it. Under the shirt there were German tattoos and a German medallion on his necklace. The Jews were outraged and asked Gyuri to turn him into the Americans for working with the Germans at the forced labor camps. Gyuri had the decision to get his revenge, but he didn’t take the German soldier in because his knee hurts.

Then, Gyuri arrived at the station in Buchenwald and women were looking for their husbands. Gyuri walks to his home street that looked crumbled and abandoned. Gyuri goes looking for his friend Bandi Citrom at his house but Bandi isn’t there. Gyuri is filled with hatred towards Budapest for letting the forced labor camps continue. Gyuri goes back to his house and rings the doorbell.  A stranger answers the door and there is a baby crying in the back room. Gyuri then walks over to his neighbor’s house. His neighbors open the door and there is Gyuri barely standing in front of them in those old black and white striped prison clothes. Gyuri asks where is his father and they told him that Mr. Köves died in Austrian territory in Mauthausen. Gyuri’s girlfriend, Anna Maria, came looking for him and they found each other. Gyuri’s step-mom married Mr. Suito the black market dealer. Gyuri meets his mother that was waiting on him to get home. Gyuri said he was there for four or maybe five months in Auschwitz and a year total in all camps combined. He mentioned that he missed the camps to his girlfriend, Anna Marie, and he missed everyone he met. Gyuri said that life was cleaner in the forced labor camps and he stayed happy in a tough time of life.

 

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