Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Salvatore and Lili Katan - August 18, 1981

Meeting Each Other

How did you meet?

SK: One, one day I was going to ask--I used to play soccer with the Yugoslavia, with Italy, with the Greeks, with the Hungarians, you know. Of course the best game was the Hungarians. And going back and forth I met a, a girlfriend--my wife--and she used to talk French and I used talked French. And then here, you know, I met her and we started...

LK: Look each other.

SK: Look each other because she wasn't able to talk my language, I wasn't able to talk her language...

LK: Not ever.

SK: So that way we get together and uh, now...

LK: I don't think we get together actually.

SK: I mean, like boyfriend, girlfriend that's all. And uh, the matter of fact we want to get married there.

LK: We wanted?

SK: Yeah, you wanted to.

LK: We wanted? I couldn't even talk to you.

SK: Okay. We had interpreters there.

LK: How about the truth?

SK: The truth was there.

LK: Could we talk to each other?

SK: Yeah, with the hand.

LK: You know, it's really strange.

SK: So anyway...

LK: I mean, you cannot talk to a person and get married.

SK: I went, I went to the captain of the camp, Russian camp, and I say, "How about so and so," because we have a bunch of Greeks over there, you know, they put the thing for us, you know. He said, "No, sorry, you can't go there to see her." I said, "Why?" Because I have an interpreter in Russia and he used to tell me everything in my language.


SK: Ladino, Spanish. Says, "Because she's Hungarian, she has to go Budapest in Hungary. And you are Greek, you go there." Then he says, "You write each other if you people love each other, you write her a letter and she writes you and then wait." Okay. But says, "If you want to marry, you could get a Russian girl." I said, "Well, I need her now. No Russian girl, Hungarian girl." So sure enough, nothing happen. Then a couple days after the general comes out in the camp and says, "Well, I want everybody outside. Tomorrow," he says, "the Hungarians they're going to be first to go back home. Now we know very well there's a lot of other nationalities they are involved with the Hungarians and the Romanians, whatever it is." Says, "If somebody's going to try to run away and if they get caught he's going to be shot in the spot." So I say, "There she goes."

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