Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard Hirsch - June 29, 1982

Surviving While Hiding

When you were working for the uh, farmers in the town, you said a couple of men would be needed and, and a couple of the boys who were in hiding would go and help, did they pay you?


Did they give you food in exchange?

Food, yeah.


They give a--no, I didn't need clothes. I had one shirt for--'til Friday. Friday I washed--I had a couple shirts, that's all.

Started to say food...

We didn't, we didn't work for money. We didn't work for money.

But you said they did give you food.

Food, yeah. Anytime, anytime when they called, "Come on over in case you are hungry, you can have good food."

What did you use your money on that you said by the end of the war you had none?

For drinking.

Oh for drinking.

Drinking. This kept us alive, the drink.


Drinking. Because we, we were the same like the Gentiles. You know, in a small town people they drink...


...that's what we helped them to do. We paid them and this was--we paid for the drinking and that was--I wouldn't say we were catching them with this that they shouldn't say, or this helped us a lot.

You became one of them.

One--that's right. One of them we became.

For shelter what did you use?

We had bunkers. The bunkers we just had the last six months. Otherwise, when I was young, I could sleep underneath a tree.

Wintertime too?

Wintertime happened but I walked in uh, where the cows are sleeping. The farmer where he...

A barn?

A barn, yeah. And I lay down in the front of the, of the cow and I was laying and she was blowing the heat on me and this was enough for me to...

And the farmers didn't care that you stayed there.

No. We slept in the houses too. We slept in the houses.

They didn't have German raids come through at all looking for people?

They came one uh, from the beginning not--later. The six--the last six months there was the problem. Before wasn't such a problem.


In case they came the police or soldiers came in, excuse me, kids they were running in the front. And they said, "Police is coming, you should run." They knew--everybody knew from us. We were not hiding for the town. One thing, the town was not uh, Catholics. The other religion--I don't know how they, I should uh, Pros...like Protestant, you know.


They're different type of people, like Catholic. One Catholic was in our hou...in our uh, town, one Catholic. He had to keep his mouth shut.

Was this the teacher?

No, no, a farmer, a farmer.


The rest was everything they, like the Protest...Protestant. Their self, they're different type of people.

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