Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Burdowski - May 13, 1982

Life in DP Camp

Can you tell me some more about the DP camp? What um, was there--was it easy to get mail out or to...

In DP camp?

...walk around?

In DP camp was already Displaced Person camp. This was after, after the war uh, after we were freed in uh, 1945 by the, by the Americans. Uh, we were actually three people after so many years. It wasn't easy even for the Americans to get us together in--to go in back into the DP camp because we really didn't know where we were going, but whatever happened, we didn't like it. We wanted to be free and there were a lot of uh, Americans who did speak Yiddish to us and told us that, "You're going into a camp." And as long as we heard a camp, we didn't care what camp it is, we didn't want to go. But finally they talked us into it and, and said ,"You're going to go in there and you're going to get clothes and you're going to get..." you know, we were still walking around in, in, in the clothes that we used to get from concentration camp with the stripes. I don't know if you know about that, the stripes. I have pictures of them made after the war. And uh, finally after, it took us about four weeks before they could get everybody back into camp. And uh, in the camp, naturally we uh, uh, the American government or, or the JOINT, the Jewish uh, Federation probably sent in some food and uh, it wasn't too bad. We had a, we had a regular kitchen. You went in there and you had your three meals a day and uh, some clothes. And right away as being a barber we formed a, a, a barbershop team there of ten barbers. And uh, I went in right away to work in the barbershop and for that you got a little extra, because the people didn't have any money, again. So, but uh, whoever was running the camp gave you a little more food or, or cigarettes and uh, because after awhile uh, you walked around with only enough clothes, you know, just uh, clothes that you had on your back, that's all. So you saved up some, some cigarettes and uh, other things and I went to Italy. You could make a few dollars in Italy and come back. And again I, I went to Italy looking for maybe, maybe my brother would be alive there. So we traveled a lot--I traveled a lot. But I never wanted to go back to Poland; never had the desire to go back to Poland.

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