Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Leaving Europe

That, just--why I want to sort of finish the story.


You, you were--it was 1946; you were still with the Chinese cook...


...with the...


Third Army. What happened then after that?

Then uh, in nineteen uh, '47 when I told you that they formed a Jewish community, you know. So, I was a chief of the uh, we had our own commi...uh, Jewish community and our own police. I was chief of the police


'Til I came to this country.

What made you decide to come to the United States?

I--oh, the United States, I thought about the uh, police. I was, I was voted from the uh, all the Jewish people, they voted me. And, you know, it was votes and--to me, to come to the United States, I could go to Canada too. But when I worked for the American troops, that's what made me, you know. I saw, I talked to the people, and to the soldiers, you know. And, and I, I had that desire, you know, to go to the United States.

Your brother too?

Yeah--no, my brother was in Israel and he was in the Israeli war and then uh, it was very bad for him, you know, right after the war and, and he, he went to Canada, and from Canada I brought him over here.

How did you get together, you and your brother?

After the, after the war?

After the war.

See, that's another long story.


See, it's too long. I can't. But I'm going to tell you how, you know. After war was like uh, whatever was liberated, a lot of people were, I told you about four zones. Each was in different zones, in English zone, American zones, the Russian zones, and French zone. He was in English zone. He was liberated there and he was there in a camp. Now uh, a girl was looking for her brother and I saw this girl in that city in Bavaria. And sh...and, you know, we talked about it. And she was going--she had a permit from General Eisenhower. The permit was every GI she should get, and every military government she should get support traveling, place where to stay in each city, you know. And she, that's what she ??? She was looking for her brother in the same talk and she was looking for my brother. So, she got in touch--she found her brother in the English zone, the same place where my brother was. And, and then they talked, she told him where I am. And right away he took that time--there was no transportation--he took a train, transport train, coal. They came--he came black, you know, on top of the coal, and he came to Bavaria from the English zone. Because that time was bombed, you know, it was the regular uh, trains uh, passenger trains didn't go yet. So, and that's what I found.

But he wanted to go to Israel.

Actually, we both supposed to be, go. We both were registered, you know, but I was engaged--that's another long story. And then, you know, he went by himself and I uh, was still left in uh, in Germany And then he wrote a letter that it's very bad now and if I could uh, emigrate, if I got a chance to go to the United States, go. Maybe he said I can get out, and that's what exactly happened.

You were engaged in Bavaria?

Yeah, to ???, it's my wife. And uh, they came from Poland too, you know.

Is your wife a survivor? Your wife's not...

She, she wasn't in a concentration camp, but she had it worse than me. She was uh, hidden three and a half years by two uh, two Catholic nuns, her and my mother-in-law. That's...

That's another story.

She can't talk about it. She had it worse. Because those seven, eight years old couldn't--upstairs lived German police, on mounted police, you know, on a horse. And downstairs the two nuns went away every day to the church. And upstairs the woman, the police wife knew that nobody's downstairs. They had--they were under a table three and a half years, underneath a table. And when they had to cough, everything was ??? because until the two nuns came home in the evening, they could breathe but a whole day they couldn't. They couldn't even stand up and walk because Europe is not built like this with brick. It's, it's thin. You can hear every word somebody says downstairs or upstairs. So, she doesn't want to talk about it.

You came to the United States in 1950. You became a citizen five years later?


You moved right to Detroit?

First step from New York, you know, from this ship to Detroit, until now.

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