Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maximilian Kowler - April 26, 1984

Being Hospitalized

What was your role in the, in the story of uh, the Chambon?

Uh, in the sto...oh, no, no, no. We uh, we were there to build a sort of nucleus of resistance. Uh, I had a very bad accident right at the beginning--a bicycle accident uh, that there was no penicillin at that time, uh, I was treated by doctors as well as they could treat me, but uh, the infection spread. I had an open knee and the infection spread terribly, that they just couldn't keep me there any more, and they had to send me down to, to Lyon, to the--to Hospital St. Francis of Assisi in Lyon, where I had to be operated immediately. Matter of fact, in the middle of the night they operated on me, because it was almost--on the way, I almost lost the leg. Uh, it was the beginning of the--of a resistance nucleus in Chambon. Uh, most of my friends remain...stayed there. Some of them came then, all the time, being that I was safe in the hospital in Lyon. My hospital room, and later on the room in the convalescent home which belonged to the hospital, became sort of our office then, you know, where we uh, had papers, printed papers, distributed papers, from--it was a safe place, because it was midst of a Catholic neighborhood--church, you know? I was pretty safe there, and we were pretty safe there, until--I sort of smelled some danger, and then I said, "Enough is enough," and I could walk then already, barely, but I could walk with two canes- and uh, we organized my transport in an ambulance into Switzerland.

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