Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emerich Grinbaum - October 3, 2000 & January 8, 2001

Attitude of Survivors

Is that basically what you think the attitude was in the...

Basically, yes. That was the basically the attitude. You know, some exception. Uh, there was some other things you know, other things. Some people even stole the, the piece of bread from each other you know, which is terrible. Now that, that was condemned by the majority, not to take. But they do. The--I'll tell you something. This is interesting to be on it from the uh, uh, more cheerful side. Uh, we had a lot of Greeks. They were from Salonika. These guys couldn't speak Yiddish because we communicated with other Jews there in Yiddish. Polish Jews and some other Jews. With them we couldn't communicate. Me and my brother we could because they spoke Hebrew. They spoke Hebrew. Real Hebrew. They-- Ladino and, and everybody spoke Hebrew. I could communicate with them. And they were young people, strong people, they were mostly workers because you know, majority of these they're working on uh, uh, workers. There was the biggest...


...you know. And they could survive better because they were stronger, young, twenty, in their twenties. That's the best. Uh, and these guys were terrible. They, they could steal. They, they survived that way, that they steal, during the night. What happened. They gave us a piece of bread in the evening. The majority of the people ate it, not a, not a big piece, ate immediately. They give us some soup or something together. And the whole day we stayed with practically without food, they give us soup in the uh, uh, for lunch also, but it's a kind of you know, soup. But no bread. And me--and including in my bro...we tried to leave a piece of bread for next morning at least to have a piece of bread. But it was very dangerous because we were together, somebody might have steal. We put under our head you know, but very often they stole. So uh, later on we ate the whole thing up in the evening. And I remember there was among us, a young guy, Yankiel from, from Munkacs. I remember him as now. He was a smart guy. He got acquainted uh, with a Greek, one of the Greek guy. And he wanted to leave a piece of bread for the morning, you know. Not, not much. So what he did, he gave the, the Greek guy to keep it, hold it and give me back. And he did.

And the Greek did.

Did. Yeah! You know, they denied that they are stoling. They are not going to tell that they stole. But we knew that they stole. Not only Greek, some other probably, but we knew that they were the fastest. So Yankiel had an idea, that was just, just an anecdote you know, an idea he gave them. Then after awhile he gave them a piece of bread, additionally so. That was every, every uh, bite counted. They were you know, they, they were gentlemen in that sense, you know. They gave them back. And the Greek didn't steal from ea...each other, you know. They s...stole from somebody else. Just, okay.

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