Author: Arie Fetman | The Silver Age Art Museum

The Silver Age Art Museum

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December 03, 2019

Arie Fetman

Life years

Born 1926

Place of birth

Budapest, then - Austro Hungarian Empire

Place of residence

Hod Hasharon, Israel

93-year-old retiree from Hod Hasharon (Israel) Arie Fetman, who was born in Budapest in 1926. Arie and I are longtime friends, he has been attending wood-carving classes for several years. Arie asked us to say that he got the name "Arie" in Israel only in 1948. Before that, he called George. In the photo you see George- Arie back in 1948, when he was 22 years old. Although in the German concentration camp George Fetman remained George, in Israel he became Arie. Mostly, Arie Fetman finds inspiration in the works of Sandro Botticelli (real name Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi; March 1, 1445 - May 17, 1510), an Italian artist, one of the significant masters of the Renaissance, a member of the Florentine school of painting.

In his own words:
"I was born in Hungary in 1926, on October, 1. During the war, I worked for the Germans in a work camp as a Jew at a training airfield. In March 1945, at night, I stole potato peelings from under the snow, and they caught me. As a punishment, I was assigned to hang on the rack for one hour the next day. I hid in a hole about a meter deep, 40 cm wide and lied there all day. In the evening I got out, it was in Austria, in a camp near the village of Schachendorf, I was alive and heard some shooting, "tr-r-r-r", the Germans on one side, the Russians on the other, by the evening the Russians came and I was free. In 1948 I moved to Israel and immediately served in the army for 2 years. I got married in 1950, was engaged in orthopedics, making wooden prostheses. I lived in Petah Tikva, and as 4 years ago my wife died, I did not want to live alone and moved to a nursing home.
I understand Russian just a little
The war was still there in 1945
And I have already been released from the camp
Where I hung on a rack for one hour
For stealing potato peels in the kitchen
Only the thought of my mother saved me
She asked to survive to the end
Although I did not know that she had already burned in the furnace
Well, the Soviets came to Budapest
They took me to the commandant's office, to work for 24 hours
It was necessary to feed the soldiers when they returned in the evening to the commandant's office
During the day they had to catch, kill and fuck
Whom to catch and kill?
And whom to fuck?
Women, whom else
The war was not over yet
The soldiers
Twenty four people
They had to eat and drink so they appointed me
In the evenings I took two Russians with machine guns
I was also given a machine gun
(nonsense, I couldn't shoot)
Led them to addresses
I knew
Who is for the Nazis in Budapest and who is against the Jews
We would come with these two
One was on the right another on the left
And I was in the middle
They called the doorbell and no one would open right away
I then spoke to the soldier
To shoot into the air just once
And the door was immediately opened
I would tell them
See these soldiers
Welcome them for the night
Provide food and drinks for twenty people
Oh but no, they have already taken everything, they would answer
Then I would say well-well-well and we would walk into the yard
And there were chickens, pigs, farmstead
What pig to slaughter?
This one?
This one?
This one?
And immediately there was food and lodging and everything that was needed
So I worked in the commandant's office for 24 hours
Now I am 91, I am in Budapest
The Hungarian sausage is the best in the world
I'll bring some for you, but hush-hush-hush
Don't show sausage to our folk
They can't eat pork".