Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Konstam - October 25, 1991


What was the town there?

??? was the name. ???. Anyway this is in ???, this was a, the dairy country. Uh, we went to town and there we uh, went, there were some barracks where the soldiers used to stay there. And we went into these barracks. Over there we found a, a uh, English, British camp where they, where they interned uh, the British citizens. And there was a uh, one Jewish man and his daughter where they had to... You know, the British they treated with, with respect, you know. Uh, and uh, I remember we found in the, in the barrack the preserves, meat preserves, you know, open cans, you know. There mold over it, but we took the moldy part off. And we uh, ate whatever we could. And then uh, afterwards we uh, got some civilian clothes. Started to organize ourselves a little, a little better. Uh, and uh, we uh, started to recuperate a little bit, our, our bodies, you know. Just... Get a little bit of rest and get some food. And from there we uh, we were there uh, I don't know how many weeks we were there. Yeah, uh, what happened actually, after we came, after I came back to town and I uh, went there to, there was a monastery, uh, no, what was there... Uh, uh, were sisters.


Yeah, was there. And I went in there and uh, this is something remarkable. That nun took me in, undressed me, just like a baby, gave me a bath. She took my clothes--and as I say, they were full of lice, you know. And she, with a hot iron, you know, she killed everything in, in these clothes, you know. And then she gave me a, a clean bath. I stayed there for a couple days to rest up and come a little bit, become a, more human. And uh, uh, after this I went across uh, to these uh, barracks. And then there are more boys uh, more Jewish boys that we met that came in, you know, they come, because the war was over so they uh, uh, came in. And we were about five or six Jewish boys that were there. Uh, and we took one of the barracks and we... And the uh, German, there was German bakery. Uh, we came in there. He, he gave us, he gave us bread without pay because we didn't have any money. Went around to the um, farm, we used to go to the farm and get some uh, some eggs and some other stuff that we could have something to eat, you know.

Where were you staying at this point?

As I say, we stayed in these barracks in Warsaw. And there, there was soldiers, army barracks.

Army barracks, old army barracks.

Yeah. You know, when they, when they left, so we took over a room or two, two, two rooms, whatever.

Did you ever go back to the nun? Just...

Yeah, I did later on. When I saw her in the street I went over there and I thanked her for uh, taking care of me. I certainly did. I made sure I did. I'm telling you, she uh, she just undressed me naked and put me, and washed me and cleaned me up. So.

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