Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Klaiman - May 4, 1982

Returning to Poland

Do you have any interest in going back and seeing what it's like?

Never. I was back once...

You went back to Poland?

...in 1945 after the war I went back to Poland. The--I still--not a belief--I wanted to know--maked sure nobody is--I was over there for a couple days and see if I got still my relatives or somebody. Maybe something, but I don't believe, maybe still alive. Couldn't finded nobody. So I went there last time and I don't have no wish to go back to Poland, to Germany. I don't want to see them, I don't want to hear about it. I had enough from. I will never, never will ??? about Polish people because they do not--they're not people. The most anti-Semite people in the whole world I feel in my heart.

Are there other memories you have of Łódź as a little boy? Do you remember your street, do you remember the building? What are the other things that you remember in Łódź, because Łódź was such a prominent city?

Łódź was the second biggest city in ???. I remember the city. I remember the, the--my little home. I remember everything. I remember all my friends. If I were possible they will walk through now I would recognize them because with--in Poland it was not like here, because kids was a whole day outside and playing. And we was playing, we had really a lot of fun when we was young. We was playing soccer--the most in Poland this was soccer in, in Poland. And we played a lot, and the school was beautiful to go into all the kids and everything and. When you're talking, the same thing. You never had too many Gentile people to, to play together. Always was a fight. Every time right from the beginning you were a little kid. Always you have nothing. That's--not like here. I remember my fa...my, my, my, my boy was a--right in this pla...here in the school and he was a, he was a quarterback, my son. And, and a--one Gentile called him a, "God damn Jew,' something else, and, and his team was a lot of Gentiles too, because--and he was a quarterback. And they come to the huddle and they're talking, my son said to the boys, "You know he called me a, "God damn Jew.' And a non-Jew into this guy, when he had the ball, he jumped on him and he hit him so hard. Because he had said to, to his friend that he is a "God damn Jew,' something, he called him a different name. And this was never happened, I don't think so, in Poland because everyone was against Jews. Here you still got a difference--there's a difference. You have a different feeling in here. It's a different--it's still a different country. I still believe this is the best country in the whole world.

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