Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Peri Berki - December 9, 1983

Husband and Anti-Semitism

Um, so you were saying some incident in New York happened that was anti...

Yeah, I can't remember now. My husband did the shopping for that, I have to tell you, did the shopping, went to EMT and he, he didn't look Jewish either. And, I show you his picture. Uh, he went to shop at EMT one day, he always did the shopping and there was an old woman, the neighbor who was an old Jewish woman, and picking out uh, onion and she was watching this and one of the salesmen in the store came to my husband and he said, you see what the Jewish refugees do? They just pick up every piece, they're not satisfied. See, that's all, that, I just want to show there is anti-Semitism.

What, how would you respond to something like that? Would you admit that you...

Wait a minute, you know what my husband did is he correct him. This is his character. Everybody to America, everybody came from where, from. If you are not an Indian, then you are a refugee too, that's what my husband said. This was his character. I, I remember when theyŚcan I go back to 19... I don't know when they took away the farm, when they took away the farm that, a group of commission came out, it, it was a big farm, they put down everything what we have, even the granary, and machinery, everything. And then they, we knew that somebody's coming from the commission. And my husband went to, to greet him, greet him, and this man came and said Mr. Berki, hello Mr. Berki and had gloves on and shook my husband's hands. My husband didn't have gloves. He reached into his pocket, put on the gloves and shake, shook hands with him. Because according, I don't know, according...

The custom

etiquette, etiquette, you are not shaking hands with somebody in gloves.

Yeah.

At that time, he took, he took out his gloves and put ??? and shook hands. This is how my husband was. And he, he was not very happy. He was not very happy.

Yes, but you must have been tempted yourself many times to make some remark against somebody who made an anti-Semitic remark.

I uh, I guess, yeah.

When to keep your mouth...

I am not provoking. I, yeah, if I realize that I, this is the only Gentile person, I told you that we are good friends now. She is very lovely, very lively, very intelligent and, and educated too, but somehow very deep I really, if we lived in Hungary she wouldn't be, she wouldn't be at all a refugee. She wouldn't be so nice. I, I don't, I don't trust them really. Although I have proven that, it was proven to me that there are so many good people, right? But still, I can't change that. And I just even, I don't even fight this feeling. But I told you, I feel closer to you than to this woman who is Hungarian.


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