David, a story about survival
At Muzeon, you can listen to David’s story, a hallucinating story about survival. His life story has been restored and reconstructed based on archive materials, and today his voice can be heard via an audio guide, performed by actors.
Back in the days, David Irányi used to be a co-owner of the perfume company Rozsa, a singer at the opera in Cluj, and a football player at a Jewish football club in Cluj. He was a man of integrity, but sensitive at the same time. As a young man, David Irányi married Victoria Lusztig in 1935, in Gilău, a village near Cluj, with whom he had two boys, György and Robert.
Jewish workers at the perfume factory Rozsa in Cluj, before the war. © Lusztig Family Photo Archive.
Victoria, David, and their son, György. © Lusztig Family Photo Archive.
Their life completely changed in May 1944, when David was taken along with his family to the ghetto located in the former Brick Factory, in the Iris neighbourhood from Cluj. Shortly after, David, Victoria, and their two boys were deported to Auschwitz. Upon arrival in the camp, David was sent to work, and received the identification number A-13613, while Victoria and their two children were taken directly to the gas chambers, where they perished.
Auschwitz, Poland. © 2014 Hecktic Travels | HeckticTravels.com
Despite having to bear inhuman conditions in the camp, David managed to survive. He was released from Auschwitz at the end of the war, but returned to Cluj alone. Once released, David had to go through a process of re-humanisation, trying to give up his A-13613 identity and identify again as David Irányi. He had to learn how to be, once again, a human being.
Jewish survivors in Cluj, 1945. © United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Elly Berkovits Gross.
After a period of recovery, he felt he should continue his life and remarried in the same year. He moved with his new wife, Silvia, to his former home but ended living in just one room, sharing the house with the new owners after the deportations from 1944. Over time, David and Silvia had together two children. Things gradually returned to a certain degree of normality and, despite their tragic past, life went on.