Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eugene Arden - February 21, 1984

Talking with Fellow Soldiers

Did you talk with--after you left Landsberg and went on and uh, and say, when you met somebody in New York um, or other people who were in the outfit, did you ever talk about what, what had gone on when you entered that place?

Um, yes, but you know a lot of it took the form of um, you know, the comm...most common place kind of um, soldierly reminiscences. A...actually my group for awhile used to try to meet about once a year at the Astor in New York. And we'd meet at the bar and we would you know, say, "Hey, you remember this?" Uh, in, in a way, though, we talked a lot more about other places that we'd been because we were together for over a year, four or five of us were together for over a year, and then this Landsberg was a relatively small uh, portion of, of, of the total. So there were lots and lots of other, other experiences and lots of other um, you know, the kinds of people with, with stories that we never um, events that we would never in our, in, in ordinary times have experienced. I mean, they were--and so we would--yeah, we did do some reminiscing. But even then um, it wasn't really so much about um, about the concentration camp. I suppose we reminisced a lot about, about the pleasant uh, uh, rather than the unpleasant. We had a period of time in Austria when we were in a very luxurious house that we had uh, uh, taken over and uh, we lived uh, in the post-war period in Heidelberg and uh, uh, that was great fun. It was one of the few cities that had really not been bombed at all, just the, the bridges across the Necka...Necker had been sprung. But uh, the Corps of Engineers threw Bailey Bridges across them so, they weren't pretty but they were perfectly--I mean, the traffic wasn't impeded. It's a great, great city, marvelous castle, lovely uh, symphony orchestra which started up almost immediately. Uh, Germans, I mean, they hadn't even gotten uh, the food and gasoline rationing uh, all together and their symphony orchestra was already up and playing in the, in the Schloss, in the castle playing open air concerts and uh. It's a strange--crazy, you know. And then they were making ice cream--home made ice-cream, you used to get. It was very you know, it was very--of course, the war was over then so it was easier to be, uh.

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