Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Rose Green - May 21, 2008

Start of War

Do you remember when the war started? When the war started--September 1939.

September 1939. I remember my sisters went to school in Bratislava and I went to pick them up from school and they were already on their way. When--it was the day when uh, when Germany uh, occupied Poland.

Occupied Poland. So that was September 1, 1939.

See, I can't remember dates anymore. You know, when you get old you don't remember a lot of things.

Well, I have the same problem.

My sisters, my sister tells me--I talk to my sister lives in Israel, every morning we talk to each other, every morning. When my brother was alive I talked to him one day and talk to my sister one day. So, so we have contact.

What were people's reactions when they heard that the Germans had invaded Poland?

Oh it was terrible, terrible. We were scared to death. It's like, you know, they put a knife on your throat already, already to cut you. That's how we felt.

[interruption in interview]

What did you think--you said people were afraid, what did you think would ha...would happen when the war started?

You know, we read the papers. Even they--there were--how do you call in German ???, they, they...

Their unit, brought together.

Whatever they wanted us to know, the people to know. So we just, we just knew, you know, from here--a little bit from here, a little bit from there. People came over. My mother always took in people, fed 'em, give 'em clothes. And uh, so we were helping as much as we could, you know, everybody.

Did anybody think that they were going to kill the Jews?

We knew. We knew that they were killing Jews, of course. Not--we didn't know that it--what went on in Auschwitz in the measure that it went, you know. We, we thought that they worked hard and they didn't get enough to eat but whoever stayed alive, stayed alive, you know, so. Look at me, I was in a camp. I went through--was working very hard, very hard work. In a factory they made uh, uh airplane parts. We made it five hours working and very, very, very, very little food. I don't know if we got three, four hundred calories a day.

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