Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Cohen - April 18, 1982

Living In German DP Camp

You lived in one camp, or several?

I uh, I lived in, in one for most of the time. I got into Munich--I was sent to uh, called Heidenheim, and I lived there from '46 'til '49. Al...almost three years. Then I immigrated to Canada. Uh, the government sponsored--the Canadian government sponsored so many girls for either mothers helpers, or they called it light domestics, hospital--you know...


...so just some, some um, this very nice man that knew me in, in, in Heidenheim, Germany in the displaced persons camp knew I was waiting to go to America, but there was--the quota was filled and I would have had to wait maybe another year or two and by then the, the camp would have--they would have had to transport us to another place because it was just--they were closing some, some of those camps off. So he suggested, "Why don't you go...

To Canada.

...to Canada. You'll be living with Jewish people. Probably doing nothing more than uh, just being with--where they have one or two children--just be like a companion." Uh, I thought, "What have I got to lose?" Meantime, while I was in, in Heidenheim, Germany those three years, I didn't just sit around wasting. I went to--didn't go to the, the public school, but I went to school for the whole three years to a private teacher, a Frau Bar who gave me English and German.

Were you allowed to just leave the DP camp?

Yes, we were not, we were not prisoners there. We were civilian, we were allowed to come and go as we please, shop where we please, do what we please, go to the private doctors. Uh, this was a displaced persons camp where we were uh, they're supposed to take care of us, in other words. We're--you are uh, uh, our uh, keeper.

Did they give you clothing and food and lodging?

Yeah, we got--they took the buildings where previously uh, a, a police school is where I was in first. Uh, they gave us their lodging. Uh, army blankets. Uh, clothing came from used clothing from America uh, and shoes and clothing.

Were you with your sister at this time too?

Yeah, but they were already a family. She had a husband and a child. So. Couples and children got--we were in the same place, in the same camp, in the same displaced persons camp, but not in the, living under the same house or...


...same roof. Uh...

In other words other quarters.

Uh, for single--right, single people got certain quarters...


...and married people got different, uh...

Did you encounter...

...they weren't any good. They were barracks--little rooms, you know. They were not--nothing tremendous.

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