Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992

Fate of Family (continued)

When did you get information about the rest of your family?

There's no information. I went, they had, they had books from every concentration camp, from every liberation place where they survived, they made a book with names. So in there, so and there was an office there in Bergen-Belsen. And there was--I went in there and I used to sit there for days and look over the books to see if anybody survived. And there was no survivors there. And then in the meantime, while I was sitting there, people used to come in there and go looking. Everybody that came in there, I asked him, "Where is from? What's his name?" Maybe he saw somebody. If he say he was from Bedzin, I had some cousins you know, and uncle in Bedzin, maybe he saw somebody--nobody. There was a lotta people I saw from cities which I had relatives. And there, they didn't know nobody. Nobody survived. I looked in the books. My name was there. So that's how my cousin found me from Israel. A cousin. He uh, found out. And a, a soldier from the Jewish Brigade came. There was no mail going yet. So a Jewish Brigade came in with a letter. My cousin. He went to Israel in 1938 illegally. So he opened up his wallet with English pounds. You know, he was a member of the Jewish Brigade--a soldier and he opened up, he says, "Take what you want." I didn't take it. What I'm going to do with the money? I didn't need no money. I had food, had a little money, had clothes and that's all. I wasn't looking for anything else. That's how he found me. Of course from the also, from the books he got some information there in Israel whoever survived.


But nobody survived from his brothers. He had three brothers and one sister. They didn't survive.

What as going through your mind now, what to do?

We really didn't know. What was going through mind? Little by little we found that out that is nobody is uh, is survived. It was uh, not uh, pleasant things.

Like what?

It wasn't--nothing. It was--but we still we hoped. Maybe. Maybe somebody will show up. That's all.

Did this raise any questions in your mind about Judaism, about God, about religion, about...?

There was a lotta questions. Yes, it did. [pause] It did. Why? But uh, nobody could give an answer to that.

How long were you in the DP camp?

Oh, until 1949.

So you were there quite awhile.


By yourself? You were there alone?

No. My uh, my wife there, we got married in '46.

In, in Bergen-Belsen?

In Bergen-Belsen.

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