On 17 September the bataillon of Radnóti set on the way. They passed through Bor, Lager Heidenau, Žagubica, Krepoljin, Petrovac, Mala Krsna, Požaverac, Smederovo (Szendrö), Belgrad, Zemun (Zimony), Pancevo (Pancsova), Jabuka, Glogny, Opovo, Perlez, Titel, Újvidék (Novi Sad), Szenttamás, Cenej (Csenej), Vrbas (Újverbász), Kula, Crvenka (Cservenka).
In Crvenka they were taken over by the SS from the Hungarian soldiers accompanying them.
In the night from 7 to 8 October the SS executed between 700 and 1000 captives.
Radnóti dated his second Razglednica as “Cervenka, 6 October 1944”.
In Crvenka his group was divided in two.
Those with Radnóti most probably followed their way through
Vepöd, Ószivác, Sombor (Zombor), Bezdán, Kisköszeg, Darázs and Mohács.
Radnóti dated his third Razglednica as “Mohács, 24 October 1944”.
From Mohács they traveled in cattle-trucks to Szentkirályszabadja.
Here he wrote his last, fourth Razglednica,
his very last poem, dated as “Szentkirályszabadja, 31 October 1944.”
In Szentkirályszabadja the SS gave back the supervision of the captives to the Hungarian soldiers from Bor.
We do not know what happened to Radnóti after Szentkirályszabadja,
neither the route they followed to Abda, the last station of his life.
On 4 November 1944 the exhausted poet was shot dead
near to the village of Abda in Györ county.
This is how the verse of his fourth Razglednica was fulfilled:
“Shot in the back of the neck. That’s how you too will end.”
All of the materials, texts and images,
I have copied from an excellent site dedicated to Radnóti Miklós.
A fool he is who, collapsed, rises and walks again,
Ankles and knees moving alone, like wandering pain,
Yet he, as if wings uplifted him, sets out on his way,
And in vain the ditch calls him back, who dare not stay.
And if asked why not, he might answer – without leaving his path –
That his wife was awaiting him, and a saner , more beautiful death.
Poor fool! He’s out of his mind: now, for a long time,
Only scorched winds have whirled over the houses at home,
The wall has been laid low, the plum-tree is broken there,
The night of our native hearth flutters, thick with fear.
Oh if only I could believe that everything of worth
Were not just in my heart – that I still had home on earth;
If only I had! As before, jam made fresh from the plum
Would cool on the old verandah, in peace the bee would hum
And an end-of summer stillness would bask in the drowsy garden,
Naked among the leaves would sway the fruit-trees’ burden,
And Fanni would be waiting, blonde, by russet hedgerow,
As the slow morning painted slow shadow over shadow –
Could it perhaps still be? The moon tonight’s so round!
Don’t leave me friend, shout at me: I’ll get up off the ground!