Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Moving to the Countryside

Now who did he send, how did he find somebody to send you to? Not to the innkeeper?

I told, I told, I told you that everyday he came to the city with a German truck.

Yes, yes.

And he came with the truck and he just left. Everyday when he came to the city, he visited us. He could just take ten minutes to visit us. And he was wanted to take us with that truck just to the city, to the village where he worked.

And he knew someone there that would take you in?

Yeah that, that woman.

The same woman?

The same woman, the same woman.

Oh, I see, okay.

You see, I'm very glad that you asked because in my head I know the connection, but you don't. The same woman wanted to, not only did she give the book, she wanted to...

Hide you.

to hide, take us as, she wanted to take us as her cousin. So my husband came and I ???. We went to the world as Catholics and I had no idea where, who. So he said we have to go. He, he wants to save us. And where did we meet? He went back to the truck, and where did we meet? We met at the German headquarter. You can imagine. But I think if I can remember, this was the safest place. How, how can in the German headquarters somebody, imagine that a Jewish woman with her son is coming in the hall to wait for a pick-up. My son was scared. I was scared too, you can imagine that... that how scary this was. We went to the truck. My husband got on the truck too, but he didn't know us. You understand? He, he was the interpreter and he was on this truck and the truck stopped at that place and picked up a woman, two women, the inn keeper, I and my son. And I was sitting next to my husband but I didn't know him, pretending I never met him. And all of a sudden he started, I have to tell you, it's a little bit funny because that is how we survived, that we always had the good side of everything. He pinched me. And I started, and I just looked. And he pinched me again. And he, and from his eyes, the corner of his eyes he was smiling. And then he asked, “Are you sitting comfortable, Mrs. Berki?” And I, he, and... Also he said in the back, “Are you sitting well, son?” But he pretend. So we went with this woman, we, we stopped at this woman's house and, and we went, went lived there, lived there. And the first night we went to sleep without a haysack. You know that? They put hay in a sack. And then this is how you slept. How about the expression for that, you know?

Haystack, I think.

Haystack? A big one, big one. We could sleep on it. But we went to sleep, the petroleum lamp was, uh.... Stopped.


How do you call, how, how do you say when it not work?

Well, it was out, it was not functioning.

Yeah, and all of a sudden we started to itch and we couldn't sleep. And her, the same room where they, she sleep with her husband, she told her husband that we are her cousins. And, and...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn