Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982

Start of War

Where were you when the war began?

I was at home.

How did you uh, how did you hear about the war?

Like I said, I knew about the war. It was--the war was, was declared around ten o'clock. I knew about the war--it was six o'clock in the morning.

Now you say you...

I was on my way to work. The airplanes were already dropping par...paratroopers into our place, damaging the roads--bombarding. That was six o'clock in the morning. I uh, I don't know, I--like I said, just plain luck. When planes came overhead and I was on the road and I saw that something isn't kosher. So I climbed into a, a, a, a pipe, you know, as in a ditch--as you--when they drives through they have a pipe there...

A sewer pipe.

A sewer pipe. I climbed into that pipe there and uh, when everything quiets down I crawled out of it and they were dead from all over the places. So--horses, cows and, and what have you on the, on the, on the farms. It was about six o'clock April 1--not April 1, uh, September 1, '49 uh, '39.

What were your feelings and thoughts at that time?

What the feeling--I just turned around and went home to be with my family. That's it.

You say you were--you, you were going to a job at the time.


What kind of job did you have?

Well, blecher, you know the uh, tinsmith.

Okay, you were doing that.

We were roofing...

All right.

...roofing, gutters or whatever for the farm itself there.

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