Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Applying for Kennkarte II

So, I went home with that and I said to myself, "Now, is that all I have to live is four weeks?" because I figured with the Germans with their thorough check-up, this gives them time to check who this person is--they would find that he's deceased. And so I remember in Europa, Europa where the kid comes back and this...


...uh, Nazi says, he says, "Yeah, I've written a letter to ???" whatever the city is, "that you say you lived." He says, "They're sending me the dossier," and that's when he walks out, he says, "My goose is cooked," and he says, "I have no place now to run. They're gonna--they got me now," and then they bombed most of the part. Believe me--I believe as much as it sounds like it's impossible, but these things can happen because they happened to me. So, for four weeks I can't sleep, worrying what's gonna be when I come back. Should I go back or should I run? If you run, where do you run? Then, they're really looking for you. If they find--they know a Jew is loose. So, I made up my mind, I'm going and I went. I remember I went there, back to the ??? with my--I had wooden shoes, I had wooden shoes on a winter day. You never tried to walk with wooden shoes on snow because the snow sticks to the wood and every few steps it builds up. Suddenly, you're walking on stilts. You had to stop, knock off the snow and keep walking. I remember these things. Anyway, I got to the school and I came in and I had to pay the price. I looked up at a picture with a Hakenkreuz. Oh my God, I couldn't believe it. I looked around, "Is anybody following me?" And, suddenly I realized that I've just been given--I've just been born again. I'm a new person born with a certificate of life. Somebody took up a death certificate and changed it to a life certificate. It's hard to put it in words, Sidney. I don't know--I don't think that any language is rich enough to describe what it means to take somebody--a human being out of a furnace--and make him a live human being and say, "Yes, you have a right to live now." What that means--but I often--I keep saying the only thing I compare it to, you know, is the Chagall pictures--paintings of the people walking on air. You know, the guy with the fiddle in the air, you know, on roofs and this and that. This is how I felt walking back to the village. I don't remember walking that 50 kilometers. It's 40 or 50, 25 or something--it was quite a stretch, I don't remember but I came back and I was so proud. And they said, "Did you?" I said, "Of course. What did you think?" And that--with that, I came into this, this Miskovsky. Now, I was like really chutzpah to go into this guy. There I got a good job and my best buddy became the sheriff's son whom I just renewed relations with in Warsaw, Stashek Ruzinski.

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