Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Kalmas - May 25, 1982


Would you try a little bit?

We tried.

Well what--describe some incidences of anti...

The anti-Semitism?


It's, it's very hard to relate the whole uh, to put it in a plain, short sentence that the Gentiles were happy to see the Germans coming in and take care of the Jews. That's, that's the, the story of it. That's anti-Semitism.

Do, do you remember any, any specific instances, let's say when you were...

Yes, that the students, you know, used--like in Europe or any other places uh, comes uh, Saturday night, you know, shpatseeren you know, for a walk. Uh, you don't drive around a car because there was no cars there, so you took a walk. So the students, you know, stabbed quite a few people--stabbing. The police didn't do a darn thing about it. So we organized a, a, one--so vigilante, you know, take care of the uh, students that went in the--to the Yeshiva, you know, and they were going to wait--going home, you know. The lighting in our city was poor. There was no, no streetlights at all. So we took battery-lighted, you know uh, flashlights with canes and we waited vigilantes for these youngsters that went to cheder, you know, or to the Yeshiva, or even for the elderly that uh, used to sit in, in uh, bet ha midrash, you know, the synagogue. And uh, either midrash or something, you know, they, they were reading after m'ncha mariv or between m'ncha mariv, you know. And uh, so we would be uh, vigilantes, but it didn't do any good. So, the war broke out. I was only twenty-four years old at that time, when the war broke out. And that was the mess that came in. But uh, not a decent day of living human decency that I can remember since September 1 'til April 11th, '45.

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