Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Returning to Poland

Did you ever think uh, think about going back home?

No. To go home, I knew I don't have nobody there. Secondly, I know uh, my boyfriends, they went back to Poland after the war. Right after the war, if they saw a Jew in a train--in Kielce, was a big pogrom after the war from the Polacks. See, the Polish people, they can spot a Jew. They can tell because they were raised in, with that inside anti-Semitism, with the hatred. And they throw out--anytime they saw a Jew on a train they opened the window while the train was going and thrown him out. A lot of Jewish people liberated from the camps got killed after when they came back to Poland. I got two boyfriends. One boyfriend they got him in, the others, the other disappeared right away into the train and he went back to Germany. When he came back he told me. See, he had a big uh, they had a big furniture store before the war. And the business was going good, so they put up a big building. In that building upstairs, oh, about three, four floors was rented, like an income, apartments. And down...downstairs over the old, the whole building they made a big store furniture. So, the building was worth a lot of money, a brick building. I was a kid that time, you know, when they were building it. And uh, when he came back and they saw him, right away they knew he's going--that time Russia was controlling. They, they figure he'll go to the Russian government and they'll--he's going to have to uh, give up that building, you know, that Polack. They got him in and they chopped off his head. That's what the other boyfriend told me. They got him in and chopped off, and took him in a place and chopped off his head. He never--dead. And he came back, he says, told everybody, don't even go. To hell with the houses because they, they didn't expect anybody to come back. And all of a sudden they see 'em back and they going to have to give up the property. This, this was theirs. When the Jews moved out, you know, when they uh, when the Germans left Poland, all the Polish what they knew whose Jewish property they got in. And that's all. Russia didn't chase them out. Whoever lives there, you know, it's theirs. But when somebody comes back and he's alive and he reports and he goes to the city hall and says this house was my father's, you know, I came back to get it back, the Russians would try, you know, to do something. At least to go in with him and try to uh, pay him or, you know, something. This was after the war. So nobody, everybody lost appetite. That's why nobody went back to Poland. Just a few uh, what they are in Poland now, this is not from the concentration camp, believe me. This is only people what they were uh, liberated uh, they were Polish Jews, but they were living during the war in Russia. They came back during assimilation, you know. Maybe they ma...they married Polish girls, something like that, you know. This is the only reason. Because anybody has a little sense--I would never live in Poland because I was raised there and I know what I went through as a kid. So, why would I go after a war what I went through, you know. I wouldn't settle in Poland at all. Even they would give me the biggest houses and the biggest stores, no way. Because I know I wasn't free. I wasn't free 'til I came to the United States in 1950. That's the first time I felt a free person between so many nationalities.

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