Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Manya Auster Feldman - August 11, 1998

Conditions in D.P. Camp

So what was it like in the D.P. camp?

Uh, well, we had--we were provided with food and some clothing that they got from probably, probably uh, warehouses where they stored the Jewish clothing that--it's--you know, I'll never forget the coat that I got. I, I, I, I was desperate. I needed a coat. And I got in--that was in Pinsk. I got into a warehouse and I saw all these clothes are laying with a yellow uh, Star of David, all the clothes from the Jews. I got a coat and I walked away. It, it was a terribly eerie feeling. Who knows whose coat I'm wearing. But in Berlin, they fed us. They organized schools. It was a very, very good organization. The children--there were--uh, a lot of people started getting married. That's when I got married. You know, we were all young people.

How did you meet your husband?

I met my husband in that small uh, he came to, to meet somebody from Poland. That was the first stop when a truck came in, that was the first stop in that camp, when they brought in the people.

In Ebensee?

No, no. In, in, in Berlin, in the, the French sector. There were a German sector--I mean, a Russian sector, a French sector, a, a British sector and an American sector. And we were in the French sector. That's where I met him. And we got married in uh, in 1948. My son was born in 1949. But in '48, they already dispersed the DP camps. They, they, they uh, transported all of them into West Germany. And from there they looked for a means of how to get them out, either to Palestine or America. They started--you know, they--we started uh, uh, uh, getting contact with relatives and trying to get visas of how to get in. That was in 1948. But in um, in '49--the end of '49--no, no, in '48, they dispersed the camp. '49 and '50, we lived in Berlin. My husband did some business and they were a group, a group of Jewish people that remained, that remained from the camps. And um, uh --

Was it the Joint Distribution Committee that helped?

The Joint Distribution Committee that helped and the UNRAA helped. And uh, we did--but we started doing some business. And uh, uh, we did not--we, we made it a point not to associate with the German people, not at all. We, we're already had our education in the, in the camps they had schools. And uh, um, yeah by--oh, I started saying that we, we started asking for visas. But in 1950, by the end of 1950, they passed a law right here in America to let uh, displaced person in without visas. You know, they let--not only Jews, there were some uh, gentiles too. That's how some of the German...


Nazis got smuggled in. That's true.

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