Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Barbara Schechter Cohen - May 1, 2002

DP Camp

Um, where did you wind up when the war actually ended?

We um, ended up in a DP camp in Stuttgart at the end of the war. Uh, and my father through the Red Cross um, found us in, in, in Stuttgart in the DP camps.

And what are your earliest memories of this place? Do you remember the DP camp?

I don't. But my, my parents told me.

What did they tell you?

Uh, uh, well, my dad was given a job in the DP camp because he, he was very fluent in different languages and he could speak English fairly well and he was able to communicate with uh, the American Army. They made him uh, like chief of the Jewish police in the DP camp. And um, uh, he, he said that... I'm, I'm trying to remember that--the Americans gave the Germans permission to come into our c...our camps and do some searching for black market goods, something of that nature. That the Germans actually came in and was doing a, a search. And there was a big commotion and um, because one of the, the, the Jews were, were, were protesting about the Germans coming into the, the DP camp and he was shot by the Germans in the DP camp. And this, this is verified in the newspaper, some newspaper articles that I have, but it's in Yiddish, I think. Um, because I have a whole uh, newspaper that--in the DP camps they had Yiddish newspapers.

So your father spoke Yiddish, English, Polish, German.

German. Ukrainian.

Wow. Was it a religious family?

Uh, I think they came from religious homes. But as far as my own home that I was raised in, it wasn't religious.

So the German police, it must have been the police, came in.

I think it was the German police. I actually have tapes that my, my parents did audio tapes and it was...

Who interviewed them?

Uh, it was um, a gentleman from the Florida uh, Holocaust Center and he was doing oral testimonies.

So they--did they live in Florida?

Yeah, and this was done in 1984 that they were interviewed. I have the tapes.

Do you?


Maybe we'll talk later.


Um, so in 1945 you wind up in Stutt...outside Stuttgart, I assume.


Just outside the city?

The DP camp.

The DP camp.

I think it was, well, somewhere in Stuttgart. Yeah.

And how long were you there?

Um, actually we were the first boatload of refugees after the war.

To leave.

To leave. It was in May of uh, 1946. And when we arrived in um, New York, we were bombarded with uh, newspaper people, movie people because this was the actual first ship. There were two shi...two first ships. This was the Marine Fletcher. And uh, in fact, I have newspaper articles of our uh, boat.

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