Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Fooling German Soldiers

Did you want to mention any one thing that comes to mind, or do you feel that...

Yes, I also remember that... Obviously sometimes you take a risk. Yeah, my son... I didn't write about this either. We, we were walking in the city freely while we were living with that... Now at that, that time we're weren't, yeah, we're Gentile people. We came out from this ghetto like free people. I, because I went back to it when after this woman in the country was afraid. So we went back to this house. But I had the paper so we went freely on the street.

You didn't wear a star.

No, I didn't. And my son, at that time Jews couldn't even be with star on the street. And, and my son didn't have his name on the paper, so it was little bit risky that I go. I had the paper written. I remember once we went on the street and we wanted to visit someone in, in the ghetto in another house. And there were uh, there were German, Hungarian—how do they call that—Heil Hitler.

Uh-huh. Insignia, or...

Yeah. Strolling on the streets. The army, army men. Checking people something, checking refugees or... And we saw from the far away that there're two soldiers stopping on the corner. So what will we do, we have to... If we turn back, it would be...


Yeah, obvious. So we went. And I didn't say a word to my son. But this is adaptability. I can't find the word for it, that if I realize now that how did adjusted ourselves, it sounds unbelievable. Because if I tell the story, I think, if somebody listens to it he thinks it's a story. Because we went and we reached the soldiers. My son lifted his hand, like up, and said, “Heil Hitler, officer will you please tell me how to go to the fifth avenue?”

He said that all by himself.

Yes, and he, the officer told him how to go and we thank you and we passed. Can you explain that? There was no rehearsal.

How old was he?

Fourteen. There was no rehearsal for that.

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