Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Kendal - May 25, 1983

Pretending to be Greek

I do recall the incident and it's like a funny incident, too. But this was when we were leaving Poland that this happened and before we got into the train that they told that, that we were Greeks. They were---the only way we could get out of there is that we were Greeks. Greeks, not Jews. And up to this day, I remember the few words um, that they'd thought us: kalimera, kalinihta and kalispera--good morning, good evening, good afternoon. I remember those--there was a many more words that they, they taught us. I remember the incident because this was repeated a number of times with a Greek passport. And what they said is everybody to keep quiet and not to talk a lot. If they have to talk to one another to talk in Hebrew, not in Jewish. And there were a couple of people they did know how to speak Greek. I don't know where they were from. There was one or two. I remember that border crossing and I don't remember this but the story told, okay, over and over again so I remember the story now. I don't know how accurate this is but I'm repeating the story that's, that's retold, okay? But I do remember the incident because we were--in this train, we were a car-load full of supposedly Greeks, okay? And this Russian officer--and came in to check passports and we have these false passports, okay?

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