Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Gringlas - January 14 & 22, March 18, 1993

Work with Beriha

Um, let's go back to Landsberg. I keep jumping around, my fault. Um, how long were you in Landsberg?

A few years.

A few years?

Yeah, mm-hm.

And what did you do, day to day? Were you working?

What we did uh, I have to get back--my memory back. We worked the kibbutz and we drove to get--pick up bread eh, for the, for the kitchen to--you know there's a lot of people in kibbutz. It was like, things to do, you know.

You were still with the Beriha, is it?

Yeah, it was eh, I was a volunteer to go to Beriha. That was going to Czechoslovakian border and bringing whatever children from Russia, of all the other countries, Poland they came, take them over to the bor...border to Germany from Czechoslovakia.

This is while you were in Landsberg still.

Yeah, this is from. No, from Landsberg I was sent to the, to Czechoslovakian border.

Oh, I see. Well let's go back to Landsberg.


So on a day to day basis you would bring in supplies for the camp.

Supplies, supplies for the camp, yeah.

Um, would you go out into, into Landsberg, into the town?

Oh yes, we went to town, went to movies, we, we...we went uh, to see how everything is.

What was it like being in Germany?

Eh, felt how to be in Germany, no we didn't felt good to be in Germany. But it, it, it didn't feel good that we were in Germany and see the, our, our--the people what uh, were, were, were, killing us and were not, wanted to destroy us and then we were after liberation, to be with them. But we thought this, we're gonna get out, we're not going to stay. After a few years we're going to emigrate to Israel or to United States, so.

Did you talk to Germans?

Yeah, we talked to them. Some of them were nice, but mostly they, we'd talked to them, they were, they'd tell you that they didn't see the things. ???. They wanted to show that uh, they didn't know what's going on. But we know they knew what's going on.

You said--in your son's essay, you said that you had met an American soldier who was of German...



There was--this--that's first uh, I mean American, for that first one that I, after the liberation and he said to me, I didn't know, yeah, I saw--I knew he was American soldier. He said, "I, my parents are from Germany, I came up from German Saxon...

Is that what he said?

But I'm ashamed to be, I'm telling you, I, I came--but I'm ashamed about it, when I see what, what, what's going on in the, in that country."

You had no plans to stay in Germany then?

No, no plans at all.

Did anyone?

Beg your pardon?

Did anyone that you knew?

Yeah, there some uh, not I knew, but I heard of some people staying in, open up business. Like they're still there, you know.


I couldn't believe it myself. Who would want to stay in a country what suffered, people were suffering so much. I can't still--I can't grab eh, that, that somebody would want to open a business or do--make a normal life to be in a country like this. It doesn't--it turns me off completely.

Or Poland either.

Beg your pardon.

Or Poland either. Who uh, would want to go back to Poland?

Yeah eh, in Poland. Poland was not--mostly people in Poland after the war is, is old people, older people, they're sick people. But in Germany it's a different story. I don't think the, the Jewish will open up business in Poland there's no way. But in Germany the life is a little bit, the economy is better and some Jews staying on and making a life of it there. But eh, the way now, what ha...happened, recently about that you can see that the Germans didn't learn the lesson. They still-- a lot of them. Still, it'll take a long time, many, many generations to clear what they did.

Um, you were in Landsberg a few years, with your brother. You were both.


Did you decide you were going to stay together and not...



Yeah it's--we, yeah, I told you about we were supposed to go uh, away to Italy, on, on the Aliyah?


I told you about it. Do you want me to repeat it?

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