Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Marton Adler - July 13, 1989

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Is that where you were?

Yeah Celle, from Celle I went to, back to Europe with some other guys older than me. We went back to Czechoslovakia, we went to Pilsen, Prague, to Bratislava, from Bratislava to Budapest and in each town they had a kitchen, a Red Cross kitchen. Basically that was the format. A Red Cross kitchen, a communal, commune kitchen and you would sleep in the school. The schools were the dormitories, whether the hallways or schools or maybe even synagogues like in Budapest I slept in a school. From Budapest I kept going further east towards my home town and then I came to Chust. Somebody told me over there don't go any further, don't bother going to Volové, because they're gonna close out the borders, why don't you leave and go to Bucharest. I mean I just didn't go on my own. With others, you know. All of Europe was like after a flood. Trains were going back to Siberia with German soldiers every train was full of German soldiers going back to you know on the Russian POW. The Germans now were POW, in fact, they were locked up in trains like we were in--but I was nice to them, I didn't do anything. He asked me, were you in Germany here, yeah, how was this city, how was that city, you know. But this is all in passing. You're not supposed to.

Did you expect to find anybody from your family?

Not really, no not really. I just thought, well, it's just like you in this interview, nothing is gonna change. No I just wanted to see my home, my town, you know even like right now. If I could do it without any inconveniences, I wouldn't mind going back just see where the house was. No. I wanted to see and maybe subconsciously maybe I'll come to that house. Maybe I would find, maybe not and maybe um go back to school or something like that, but even today I never have any definite plans, not that I am a fatalist, but everybody else did. But most people did with family, I mean some family, and not only that, the, maybe it was an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. The disadvantage was for me that I had nobody. I was really alone. Totally alone. All these cousins that I found, it's later on. I had nobody. The only relative of mine, the closest relative was somebody from our home town if they wanted to bother with me. That's it. So, when I went to Bucharest I didn't have anything like that. I had someone say, let's say, I knew your father, your father was a nice man, we were good friends you sit next to me. I was an orphan. A true bona fide, solid, solid brass orphan. Really a pure definition of an orphan. So Bucharest, they organized a group, I wasn't the only one, there were lots of kids like me, there was a lot of them younger than me, too. Many. And in Bucharest they organized a group, all these organizing things wants to go to Israel to Palestine, but Palestine at the time, the British wouldn't let them in. And uh, from Budapest I went back to, from Bucharest back to Budapest, and this is all clandestine, and from Budapest by the Bricha, that's the organization that took all these people that were left over that were still alive after the war, channeling them towards Israel and um, I ended up in Austria under the British zone. And there too, that's campaigns to go back where you came from. Uh, it's better than maybe in conjunction with the Russians on their own too because it was an advantage to the British. The less DPs [displaced persons] they have here, the less they have to worrying about getting to Israel. They're better off for them to go back to, you know. But anyways, they brought us to Italy. The Bricha, the organization. And in Italy we were leave me under the auspices of UNRRA, United Nations Refugee Relief Organization [Association], and uh, they joined the Joint Distribution Committee and um, we didn't go hungry, we didn't gain any weight or anything, but we maybe we had a can of spam, one a week, or a can of tuna maybe. Compared to what we had in the concentration camps, no matter what, everything was, was gold, luxury.

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