Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Leo Liffman - May 15, 1985


You said you were there for about three weeks?

Three weeks, yeah.

What did they make you do for three weeks?

Nothing. Standing from morning, noon, and night and about, oh, about a few days, three, four days after we were in, we all were called...There was a long line of tables, and we all had to go down and fill out a piece of paper, giving our name uh, birth, all the personal data possible. And on the bottom it says, "Do you have a chance of getting out of Germany? Can you leave, kann Sie Deutschland verlassen." I thought yes, within three weeks. And uh, I signed it and turned in and then uh, after about two weeks, they started calling names over the loudspeaker system in the camp. And they said the next morning you wanted to see such and such people and gave a list of names and wanted to come up to the office. Well, they went up and they never saw them again. It didn't occur to us that they might have killed. So we thought maybe, maybe they were released. Maybe. We didn't know. On one Sunday night, my name came over the loudspeaker. Leo Liffman. Up oh, eight o'clock Monday morning I was there. What they did...We didn't wash, I must say it, we didn't wash, we didn't do anything. We had the same clothes on and we left and we came in. They cut the hair off completely with machines. You could wash your hands up to here. The smell of the people was awful. Then they said okay, whatever money you have on you, you have to give us as a contribution to the party. No, fortunately, I had given my money to some people who was still in there because you needed some money to get home. That we knew. So I left, I had ten doll...ten marks, I think, left. I think that's all I have, I have to get home. So, they let me keep my ten marks to get the railway, the railroad, to get home.

Were your family notified where you were? They didn't know where you were?

I, uh...We all filled out postcards in the camp. After that fourth day, I told you about. Saying that I'm under protective custody in Buchenwald and I will need of a blanket. I think they got the blanket, I've never seen it. My fath...They, they eventually got that card, yes, and they said they send a package to me. They got that card. But when they got the card, I was almost on the way home. But there was some of...Yes, there was some of information available to uh, uh, next of kin. But, for the benefit of the Nazi party 'cause all the blankets they got.

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