Andor Lusztig, also called Bandi, the second child of Moritz and Gizella Lusztig, was born in 1908. The family lived in Gilău, where Moritz was a merchant and producer of alcoholic beverages. Andor attended school in Cluj with his three siblings, Ákos, Viktória, and Pál. After he finished school, he became an electrotechnician.
Bandi married Júlia Rosenberger in 1933, and moved to Cluj for a better living, where their two children, Tibor and Noémi, were born in 1936 and 1938. The couple were part of the Zionist community of Cluj and planned to emigrate to Palestine with their family.
Júlia and Andor Lusztig.
Everything went relatively well until Transylvania was ceded to Hungary when the war started, and labour detachments were established in the army for people who were deemed not suitable to carry firearms, including Jews. Bandi was enrolled in a labour camp in Baia Mare in Battalion X, in 1943, where he worked in his own clothing and without shoes. Jewish people were not given uniforms and were obliged to wear a special banderole so that they could be distinguished from the rest of the recruits. Every day, Bandi endured harsh conditions and hoped to return home soon.
Jewish workers at the Sevastopol labour camp. (Image source: Institutul Național Pentru Studierea Holocaustului Din România ”Elie Wiesel”)
In 1944, when the ghettoisation had started in Cluj, Bandi’s family was forced to move to the Cluj ghetto. Having a close relationship with Rezső Kasztner, who organised the Kasztner train to Switzerland and saved 1,686 Jewish people from deportation, Bandi managed to get his father Moritz, his wife Júlia, their two children, their cousin and himself on the passenger list. Unfortunately, he couldn’t leave the labour camp, so he wasn’t able to follow his family. Bandi died tragically in a bombardment by the Soviet troops near Satu Mare, on September 17th, 1944, shortly before the liberation of the camp.
The passenger list of the Kasztner train. (Image source: Wikipedia)
The Archive of the Lusztig Family © Muzeon.
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