Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994

Liberation (Continued)

There was fighting ??? And then they drove the Germans out? You were afraid...

They caught all--a lot of Germans. We went out with that vodka looking what was going on, we seen Germans walking, their heads down, with no boots you know, the Russians had a nice vocabulary, they give you and they say, "Your mother was no good," they stripped them from their boots and they stripped them from ??? and those were the poor soldiers, yet you pitied them. What Germany did to you and yet you pitied them as a person. Can you understand that? Your pain in your heart is so deep. They took away everything from you, what's dear to you and you see a person is hurt, you wanna help. Isn't that crazy? That's human nature, isn't it?


Jewish, the Yiddish heart, the Yiddish mama. Oh that was, right away we had a little more bread. And it was scarce too. During, but you could survive, you know. When you're on a farm, you steal a little, take a couple potatoes, a couple carrots, a couple beets. By the way, when I see the Holocaust, it was a bunch of beets. Did you see the beets, that staying in that little German boy, that Billy story or something. Did you remember that?

David's story?

David's story, David. I mean that the burakes--ach--we lived on that. I mean, that burakes, that was our everything. my God, our everything. When I seen that book, Americans wouldn't understand. And they started and people behind me start listening to what I say. So they sort of clinged to me, tell me, tell me. I say, I'm a survivor. You look at me, you don't know, you know. ??? a survivor. What's a survivor. I had to talk ??? lepers, American and I build that house, so I went ??? and he explained to me what ghetto is. I was dressed up, having to wear a mink coat, a Jewish woman had a mink coat. He says--so he was talking about the ghetto. I say, "You want to tell me about the ghetto? What do you know about the ghetto?" I say, "Poland, Warsaw a ghetto." "Oh man," he says. He kissed my hand, he apologized, he didn't want to say nothing. It looked like he knew, he knew what went on. I mean you know, I say, "Don't give me excuse about the ghetto. You have a great opportunity, you don't know what kind of a good country you are here. You can make something out of yourself, if you want." He kissed my hand and apologized. I say, "Don't let that you know, mislead you, because those are things, tangible things you buy. But what I went through, ghetto, I could tell you stories, you have couple days?" ??? Sidney, are you hungry?

No. No. I'm fine.

You are so patient. I don't believe it that you. I thought, it's so boring. No?

Here's what...

Ask me...

[interruption in interview]

...which I was. And unbelievable. I don't know how I survived. Some times they told me to go and I didn't have where to go. So I sneaked into the barn 'til the next day, going from one farm to the other. Maybe you have some work for me. Maybe I could help you with a child. One thing about me. Everyone liked me. I was lucky with people. Where that I inquire that knowledge and that no how, I don't know. I had my story to tell. And I told them the story.

You were an orphan.

I'm an orphan. I was an orphan. One thing I didn't like about it. I was an orphan, but my father is not in Germany working. My mother didn't die on regular bed. My mother died, because they took her to Treblinka. She lost four beautiful children for hunger. And the oldest one ran away. Me. Went through hell. You know what I had in my head, Sidney? My father said, "You go. You gonna survive and you tell the free world what they did to the Jews," and that was here like a hammer in my brain and yet, I did not tell this story 'til you. I didn't even know who to go to tell. I didn't know what to tell and how do I begin to tell?

[interruption in interview] Date: November 10, 1994

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