Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982

Vowing to Not Return to Poland

Do you ever think of going back to Poland to your home? Even after you were liberated you never wanted to go back?

After I got out of Buchenwald went to the west, because Buchenwald was taken over--Roosevelt died a week later I believe. So--and then the Russians came in, they start straighten out the line, you know. So Russia took East Europe, East Germany, and so we hopped on a, on a train that was delivering coal, you know, from the east to the west. I hopped on a train and I went west--went to Frankfurt. I went away from to the Russians. And as soon as I got out of there, I said, "My foot will never step into the--on Polish soil ever." I might go back to Germany, to Stuttgart, to Frankfurt, you know, to the other places, but I'll never go back to Poland.

And to see your home or if anybody was there?

Not my home, not my nothing. I have nothing to see there except heartache. I was in Israel and uh, I have a friend of mine that she left for Israel--her family left for Israel in 1934. And uh, when we got together for Pesach, she was telling me that she uh, they took a, a trip, you know, to Europe. So while they were in Germany, they flew over to Poland. So they went into the shtetl. She said, "You're better off not to go." And she left before the war--two years before. I should go back to see what happened after the war?

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