Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Kendal - May 25, 1983

Pretending to be Greek II

And there was one person that acted an interpreter--Russian interpreter. And this Russian officer says "Well, how do I know that they are Greeks?" He said "Well, look around you. The women and children, they're talking to each other, they understand each other, what are you talking about? They are Greeks. Look at them. Don't they look like Greeks?" And he said "I don't know if they are Greeks." He said "I'm going to get the--I'm going to go with that somebody that is Greek and that can speak Greek." And he went out of the train and went back to the station and he came back with a man and also a higher ranking officer--a much higher ranking officer. Either a captain or colonel, something like that. This man was just maybe a Lieutenant. When they came back with this Greek that actually spoke Greek, and he came into the train and he started talking to us and nobody understood him so uh, for the story was that one of the interpreter--the guy that was the interpreter says "Look, this guy is not a Greek. He is an impostor. " He said "Here we have families and children and we're all talking to each other. We don't know what he is saying. He is the impostor." As it turned out to be the high--the higher ranking officer happened to have been a Russian officer and a Jew in the Russian army and he knew simply by listening to the conversation, he knew that they were Jews and the higher ranking officer said to this lower ranking officer "The guy is an impostor. Get him out of here. " And they arrested the actual Greek. And the high ranking officer let us through and we went through and he turned out that he was Jewish and he left the train. So there was uh, an anecdote uh, with one of the ??? families.

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