Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bella Camhi - November 18, 1999

Conditions Under Germans

Yeah. But already in '41, nobody--you couldn't go into...

Right. It was from the town and uh, way back you know, wherever.

And did you wear a star? A yellow star?


Tell me about what--how did you find out you had to wear a yellow star?

It was in the paper.

So what did you...

I mean, when they catch you--you have two soldiers. One is with the dog and one in--I mean, we didn't know, we should have been more, put up a fight. They're going to kill ten of us, but you can kill the two soldiers. But you talking it now because you went through it.

So what, what...

I mean, they didn't give you a chance. They wanted to take, take people as many as they can--they, they want.

When you saw the order for the, to wear the star, what did you think about that? Did it seem strange to you?

Well, I told you one thing what it was in the paper, it's a ???

To put a star on?

To put a star to go in uh, in that new housing.


In the you know, it was all uh, manipulation.

Yeah. So, and you registered, you had to register as well.

Uh, you know, they, they just take you over there, they put in--be--this is why it's the numbers. Uh, it was no name.

In the camp.

Because they used to call you by--and then in Germany you had a, a sticker, you know. Just with the number. Our name was disappeared.

So you, but you were wearing the star. The whole family wore the star, right?

Yeah. The star, the star is a sign of the trouble. Who cares. What, what I was worried is what the star gonna bring. This is, the star was the beginning of all the tsuris.

Was it more difficult to get food? Of course, you didn't have any food to begin with, so.

Well uh, they have a belief, the, the Germans uh, I go for their system. See, what's going on here in America, you won't have this in Greece or in Germany or any... Is an eye for an eye. You kill somebody, they'll put you on the wall, they'll kill you too. Uh, I don't know how you feel, but I find it right. If you take a life, take his own life. And here is the same thing. If they're not going to stop, do something ???, we're not going to change. And it's the same way with the Germans over there, you know. They knew uh, I don't know how they knew they were so strong that they were going to win. They didn't win, but they knew deep in their heart they're going to win the world. We have only twenty-four hours. I only have twenty-four hour to be alive. A bomb fell on me there where you sitting. I thought there was going to take--three of 'em died of the girls that we were together. You know, we were not with men. We didn't see a man you know, for uh, the two and a half years that I was in concentration camp.

A bomb fell near you. And what happened?

They were bombing them. The American were bombing uh, Germany.

But what happened? Did the bomb explode?

Sure it explode, it, it killed three girls!

But you survived.

Yeah, it means you know, when you have uh, life to live, you're going to live it.

Where was that? Where did that happen?

This was in uh, in Bremen, a part of Germany. This was already i...in the liberation.

Yeah, okay.

But you see, concentration camp to me uh, I spoke the language and it saved me. So any little secret I will pass it, you know. But I'll get caught and I'll be on the wall.

Did--against the wall.


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