In 1944, SS soldiers emptied the ghetto where Agnes and her parents had been living, whisking everyone onto a freight car and from there to a warehouse in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary—their first stop on the way to Auschwitz.
SS Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, whose duties included supervising the extermination of Jews, set up his staff in the Majestic Hotel and proceeded rapidly in rounding up Jews from the Hungarian provinces outside Budapest and its suburbs.
The Yellow Star and Ghettoization laws, and deportation, were accomplished in less than 8 weeks with the enthusiastic help of the Hungarian authorities, particularly the gendarmerie (csendőrség). The plan was to use 45 cattle cars per train, 4 trains a day, to deport 12,000 Jews to Auschwitz every day from the countryside, starting in mid-May; this was to be followed by the deportation of Jews of Budapest from about July 15.
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