Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994


When, um... You came straight to Detroit?

New York.

You went to New York first.

New York first, because you have to--I came with, what's his name. I went--what's the name of the island, what's the name of when you come as newcomers?

Ellis Island.

And when I seen America first, it was very dirty there in the ports as you know. The dirty clothes and everything. I said, "David, is that America?" It was a sloshy day in February. Fourteen is Sweetest Day, or seventeen? Seventeen, it's going to be fifty years if Dave had lived that we married. Seven--1995, it would be fifty years if he had lived. We were forty-five together. We raised each other practically. I knew him, before he was going to say something, I knew what. He was a bright person, a little stubborn, mind you. I learned to cope with it. Heart is gold. If he could help somebody, I was recently at a luncheon. It was a boy, Marty Greenberg. Was raised himself together with and my husband put him actually into business and he can never forget it. He helped a lot. He gave credit people. He was a good--he never wanted to be honored. He never wanted to be known if he does something good. He says if you do something good, don't talk about it. They came plenty time want to make him the Jewish News. In fact, Wayne State University or Ann Arbor, they studied him a little bit the way he was progressing in the business. Picked a place up where they killed 150 pigs a week and before he died, he killed I think seven, eight hundred thousand a day. You know what it means with a Jewish background--such a brain. He looked at a bunch of animals, he knew what's going to be and his eyesight wasn't so good either, because from the darkness staying so, in the woods only. You existed only in the night. The lights, you had to hide. He told me another story. Before the liberation, that guy helped him. They lived in a hole. Him and that lady that he took out before she died and Mr. Sosnowitz was quite a bright man. He died, too. Also, fun that shtetl, they were sort of neighbors, actually. Six kilometers one little farm and six kil...and the Jews got together for the holidays you know, something like that. They were laying and ready to get out and they didn't cover their bunker enough and a German on a horse almost fell into that bunker. He told me that. It was a miracle of God, if he would fall in there with the horse, what would happen to those three people. Isn't that something? He had stories to tell. I mean, he told the kids some of them and I always say, Dave, why don't you put it? But you know what, I don't have the patience, I say, but he told me a lot of stuff, you know. He told me, but he went through a lot. He went through--when they killed his father, the whole family sort of didn't want to do nothing. Imagine, this day. You have everything and they come and they take him out. He says they put him on a chair. I think they tied his hands. I don't know exactly and I never see Dave cry and the tears come down his eyes when he told me the story about his father. And then they took him to a camp, also. It was a camp just to dig ditches and everything and he didn't like it, so he ran away and the Goyim caught him and they gave him--they beat him up you know, with, what do you call it? What's the name, what the police carry, a piece of wood. It's like a Palkeh they call it. You know the police uh, they carry it, before, they usually have the gun and they had a piece of wood. What do you...

They used to call them a night stick.

Whatever it is, a stick, a stick, yeah, like they beat up, that, that, that Green, they beat with a, with a flashlight. Yeah, that's what I meant. That time when I told you about the Jew watching him up in ??? I think it was, a young boy, he was and they picked at him and laughed and two dogs went around and they didn't shoot him. I didn't see 'em shoot him. I told you, they gave him a klop--a hit with a thing. Probably in a certain place he fell and they you were afraid. You just run away because they would kill you, too. Nobody was around when they did that. Nobody could help. Nobody could help, because you know you would be a victim. Is that selfish?

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