Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Burdowski - May 13, 1982


Uh, when I was liberated, for instance, from, from Dachau, I must have weighed maybe uh, ninety pounds; nothing but skin and bone. Fact after first uh, uh, few days we couldn't eat at all because no matter what we took--even a drink of water went right through you. And everybody had the diarrhea. And uh, the only thing we, we did, is we stick--maybe three, four guys and we stick together and uh, we were in a little village there where we were liberated. We used to go into a farm and take potatoes, strain potatoes in water and you cook it and you eat that. You would still get the diarrhea but at least after a few days you got better. And then you swelled up completely and uh, then it got a little bit better. I thought for sure that maybe my sister was still alive after the war, so I went from camp to camp and uh, looking for her, but uh, no way. I found out that she died in Auschwitz, so. And I went to one camp, to uh, Landsberg. I was in, in uh, Feldafing and Landsberg was not too far away. So one Sunday we went there and started looking for her. Instead I found my wife. And uh, that was in--right after the war in 1945. We got married in 1946 and four years later we come to the, to the United States. We come over here in 1949 and we arrived in Flint, Michigan and I lived in Flint, Michigan for sixteen years. We had uh, two daughters there, the oldest one is Sarah and then we had Helen. Sarah was born in 1950 and Helen was born in 1954. And uh, as a barber I worked for somebody for awhile and then I opened up my own shop. And from uh, there we went--we come over to Detroit and settled in Southfield. I opened a barbershop in Southfield. And we had another daughter, Michelle. She's now sixteen years old.

How did you arrive in Flint?

Through the JOINT I guess uh, when you register in Germany to come to the United States, I guess you had to have a sponsor. And the Flint Jewish Community Council I guess sponsored us into Flint and when I did arrive in Flint it uh, uh, only sat home for two weeks; after two weeks I got a job. I worked right away.

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