Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Holcman - September 14, 1983

Finding His Sister

So then, then what'd you do after that?

Then like every, every Jew do, we'd uh, we were smuggling a little coffee and butter and cigarettes back and forth just to survive. And, and at the same time uh, I found out my sister in Sweden. So I uh, so I went to Bergen-Belsen to, uh... Over there the officers were, the immigration officers were working uh, on my papers to, to go to Sweden. Uh, she couldn't...

What about your brother? What happened to your brother?

We were, we were staying together. All those things together.

All those things.

Except, except, uh... Although he has a little different story because uh, when I went to check in the first time uh, I went through right away. Not the first or second time. Uh, he was stopped there the second time too. We were not on the same truck. So, he got stopped a second time. And uh, he got robbed uh, on the second, on the third time too. Uh, in other words, when he woke up in the morning he didn't have a pair of pants to put on. Uh, a German lady had to go back in, to give him a pair of pants. The Russian took the, the clothes uh, his clothes. Were standing next to his bed on a chair, they took his clothes off. So, when he woke up in the morning he didn't have nothing to put on to go out in the street, so he was even worse off. But uh, except this, we traveled together uh, until uh, Czechoslovakia. And then we met uh, in Bergen-Belsen again.

Okay. And then what did you do?

Bergen-Belsen we were, we went... Uh, because I lost my brother uh, I went through the ??? and he, and he was turned back. So, so I found another guy, which I worked in the factory with in Łódź uh, I can't think of his name. And uh, so I stuck with him. Uh, the reason I stuck with him, I had no money. My brother had the money. I had no, no, no documents, my brother had the documents and the money. So, I was leaning, tried to lean on somebody, so, so I met this guy who we were working together at one time in the factory in Łódź. So, we were traveling together, me and him. And uh, by me knowing that my sister is in Hanover and him having nobody, so he traveled with me willingly. So, we went to Hanover. By the time we got to Hanover, we found out that my sister is not in Hanover. My sister is in Sweden already. And uh, that friend I traveled with that he had three sisters, which is in Bergen-Belsen. So, he found three sisters.

Mhm. So, he found his sisters.

So, we found some place to stay in Bergen-Belsen. And, and at that time, I tried to make uh, since I found out my sister is in Sweden, I wanted to go to Sweden. I wanted to get away from Germany. So, I tried there and then to uh, make arrangements. But Sweden...

By the way, do you speak German? Did you speak German?

A little bit.

Enough to get along.

Yeah. The uh, in Sweden they didn't... My sister couldn't uh, take me over to Sweden. Only closer relatives, which is a husband, a wife, or a child, something like that. So, I came to Sweden illegally too. I came to Sweden as a, a, my uh, brother-in-law's son. Different name, different age, and everything. And I went... I came into Sweden. And uh, and when I got to Sweden, then I changed everything when I was there already. Uh, everybody was scared stiff that they going to deport me, but there's no reason. But I didn't know, nobody uh, advised me what to do or how to do it, so I did it on my own and I changed the whole thing when I arrived in Sweden. So, I was back to my original name, original age.

And were you in Stockholm or where were you?

No, I was uh, near ??? not far, it's uh, called ???

Uh huh.

And uh, I was working in a clothing factory owned by a Jew.

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