Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Brenner - December 13, 1981

Life After Liberation 1

Then the first time I seen... Then we thanked them and we kept going. We don't, we don't know where we're going, we're going. We're going. And then first time we seen American soldier, they stopped us and they asked us where we going and there was a couple of niggers--that's the first time I see nigger soldiers in my life--and they asked us where we're going and they gave us some cigarette and chocolate and we start to go in the bigger city, the next big city was Wals, W-A-L-S. So, we arrived to Wals... We kept together about five or six boys. Now we seen, we seen uh, boys like us mingling all around the city trying to... Vacant places, not breaking but try to get stuff, food, and anything what they get. We... Our aim was first let's find a quarters, where we going to stay. So, on the outskirt of the city, just we walked in in one place it seemed like, it looked like a factory, a small factory. So... And there was a private home in front of it. So, we went in there and asked, and we asked them, we told him who we are and ask him is anybo... What's the factory there? If that's empty or anybody, is it working or not. They told us it's a warehouse really from uh, it's a warehouse from uh, uh, glassware. They had all kind of glasses in there. We said okay, we're going to make it our home, temporary home there, would you mind. They said, go ahead. Everybody, they didn't know what it was, so go ahead. We... So, we found an empty room and uh, which was fine and we said that's going to be our home. Now, we have to organize to get some food and make ourself a little home there. So, I went outside and I get some bread. Other fellow went outside and he get some uh, condensated milk. And uh, we organized ourself for a first couple of days and uh, we had food. But the American, Americans came in and they found us there and said you cannot stay there, you have to go into the camp, the American camp.

Displaced persons?

Yeah, displaced. So, we said no. We just came out from a camp, we don't go camps. No more camps for us. The American camp, or no American camp, you don't want to give us, help us to survive, we, we'll take care of ourself. They couldn't force us with the gun because we said listen, we're not stealing anything, we got permission from the front to stay here. We didn't break in here. Because they tried to protect the civilians. Says, you could go in there, ask him. They ask, gave us permission to, to stay here and we didn't steal anybody, anything. Only thing I stole in my life there was a bicycle. In the street I seen one, I felt this is... because I didn't know how I'm going to get home. Anyway uh, we stayed there maybe for a couple of weeks. Uh, we organized ourself, what we did uh, it was, next to it was an Italian camp, uh, liberated Italian. We went over there and they fed us. And the... Once in a while, we made the wrong food, delicacy. And the front--the people who were in front of us--they, he was nice, I don't know how nice they were in the front, but they tried to be nice. They gave us, they ha... they gave us some Farina and stuff like that and we tried to cook ourself and made some kind of a stove and we cooked ourself. And uh, we decided this is it, let's start to go home. Go to Hungary. Now how do you do it? This uh, the Americans, I don't know why, they weren't uh, in a rush to send us home because there, there were rumor that perhaps there's going to be another war between the Americans and the Russians.

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