Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Magda Beer - July 5, 1983

Life After the War

Did you--find those months after the war were--were they harder almost, then during the time you were in the basement? I mean was it really very, very difficult?

Very difficult, very, because we were very hungry. We had nothing to eat. Just what they sent, the Jewish uh, community send everyday and, you know, it wasn't enough. And the first thing was I give to my son and my little niece was with us.


And I remember in the basement was a very, very wealthy family and they had such a big piece of cheese and sugar. I never thought I would see cheese and sugar. I saw the sugar on the floor and I pick it up. I went away and every day I gave the two children one spoon of sugar. And they were looking but they had another...

Woman: Bag. A:...bag yeah, and I, I didn't feel guilty, you know, because I had money, and I couldn't buy my sugar. They had everything and then never say that, "Okay, little boy, this is for you." I stole it, why not?

How many people were in that basement with you?

In the basement was about forty, fifty. But it's not a big one you know. We were ??? each other.

Mm-hm. Was there a toilet or anything down there?


You just had to go...

We had to go upstairs and they made a big hole and it was a piece of wood and the man there and you had to sit there and do what you had to do. It was very hard.

Did people get ill?

Because if we went upstairs you know it was, it was ???

Woman: It was bombs down ???

There was shelling going on.


You could hear that all the time?

Oh, yes and no, no windows--it was broken every window.

So there was really no one living upstairs?

No, no, no everybody was in the basement.

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