Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Louis Kaye - May 9, 1983


So, let's talk about your town, where you lived uh, your, your city. How large was it, would you say?

It's a small little town, like Pontiac is bigger. It was about eight hundred Jewish family, stuff like that. Eight hundred family. And it was working hard for a living. And it used to be days you was afraid to go outside. We afraid for the Gentiles and stuff like that. Anti-Semitism and everything.

Do you remember a lot of incidences...


...of anti-Semitism?

Yeah, I remember. They used to stay around the stores and say, "Don't buy from Jews" and this. Because really, when I was born 1925, when I was eight, nine years old, I skip school, run with my brothers to make a living. Not I that... My parents like it. No. I used to run after them and go in places to do business, back and forth. I skipped lots of school. I never finished school.

What type of business was that?

Like I told you before, they got... We used to have a little grocery store. We used to buy uh, get eggs. Like and, and then somebody would buy eggs and the, and, and then you put it away in white stuff. Here they got the icebox, over there there never be, uh, was a icebox, they put it like a whirlpool They put the eggs in, they put it in white stuff like tower.


And then wintertime you took out the eggs and make sure they're fresh and everything. And then we used to smoke fish too. In the spare time, it, it was legal—not legal we did it. A small town. As I said ??? You understand Jewish? No.

Wife: You're in the wrong business.

Yeah, right. So uh, you were talking about some of the anti-Semitic things that happened.


Could you give me some examples?

My time. It's something like this, years ago, there were, like for me, like, you going to Pontiac or you go to plays that they're having, uh, free market. You go standing then, going on the road, like they go for me, like twenty mile, bypass the little villages. They used to throw stones on the, on us and everything, the Gentile. Then used to come over there, used to be places and go around with all kind signs, don't buy the, don't buy from Jews and Jews and this and that. And this happened before the war, I'm talking, I'm going back to 1934, '35, '36, '37 when I was twelve years old and I remember things like that. And I—when I was in concentration camp, one Gentile in the home he was an anti-Semite. In concentration, he would look at me, he helped me. Because I was the only one, he was looking for somebody when he, and he was in concentration camp, not because... Only for politics, politician. So, he was in concentration camp before me. I met him in Nordhausen concentration camp.

He was a political prisoner.


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