Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982

Being Taken Away by Germans

You went home to your family. What, what--how did they respond to the war? What, what did your family do?

Well, they went through a war before. To me it was still new, but I was scared. I was scared. It's uh, we are trapped, that's all I could say, and that's all I could think of. We are trapped, no place where to go. The, the worst part about it was one week later they sent out an order that all men from sixteen 'til forty-five to concentrate in the church. You know, they had a big church there. Concentrate in the church. So you obeyed the order, you go to the, to the church there. There's nothing there. You're a hostage. Next day they loaded us up on trucks, took us away. By that time I--at that time I would say that luck was more with us than, than anything else because there were Gentiles also sixteen to forty-five. Of course in a lot of places what they did is they separated. They took out the Jews and the Gentiles, but this time they didn't. They uh, took us down to a nearby city, unloaded us in a field, machine guns on three sides, you know. Everybody thought this is the end, period.

Now when, when did this happen?

It was September of '39--1939, about two weeks--a week or two weeks later after the Germans came in.

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