Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Albert Fein - February 19, 2005

Thoughts on Being Jewish

Did you ever stop and think if you weren't Jewish this wouldn't be happening to you?

What would be happen?

You wouldn't be--that if you weren't Jewish, this wouldn't have happened to you?

I wouldn't be here, I am sure. You know, there were no Selektions, ??? it was everybody.

Jews and non-Jews? I mean, if--did it ever--when you were, when you were in Kolomyia...


...did it ever--did you ever think that if you weren't Jewish...


...this wouldn't be happening to you.

That I would--that would happen everything what is happen to the other--to the rest of the Jews. Kolomyia was...

But if you weren't Jewish...


Did, did you ever wish you weren't Jewish?

You think, you think--I didn't. I just was wishing to live through the war. I didn't know what will be happen, and I didn't know if I will be able to stay to the end. Sometime there was circumstances where I barely get out with my life. I was going to the ghetto, you know, the Jewish policeman, he says, "Hi. Why he is bringing food for you and for me nothing?" and he take a whistle, you know, he is whistling for Ukrainian police. This was very unpleasant from him and for me. You know, I was a kid, I ran away and that's it. I tried to be dressed, you know, like, like a German. And tried to imitate, you know, what, what other non-Jews are doing. I used to go to a church. I used to go to the church, you know, and the church, only to stay by the altar so everybody sees me I am a good Catholic.

Did you pray?

I--could I pray? In, in the beginning, you know, I have a friend there where I was living, there was two boys and a daugh...a girl. The father used to be a policeman in Polish time, before the war, and he had a, a Lager, ???, there they collect people to go to Germany to--for work--Arbeiterziehungslager. And uh, so he asked me, you know, the park was there, so we went, went there to the park, so we met people, you know? So asked--he asked me, "Do you go to the church?" and I said, "Sure, I go to the church." "So, why I don't see you? We could go together." I says, "Sure, I am going always early in the morning." He said, "I am going to ten o'clock mass." So I says, "So we go together next Sunday." I didn't know how to behave, you know? You have to learn. So I let him go forward, I saw the thing with water, you put your hand and made the thing, so I did it. He's kneeling down, I was kneeling down. And I think then after this I tried to be close so that everybody sees me that I am in a church. Jews wouldn't go to a church.

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