Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Purim Executions

I see. Anyway, so, um...

So they executed people. I'd say they thought it was Purim and Hitler had a speech. I learned myself to read pretty good German and they--he was talking about that, that thing about Haman, you know, and all those things. I remember that.

About Haman?


He was talking about Haman?

Yeah, that the, the, the, the Jews wanted to make from him a Haman. He mentioned that in 1942 in a speech.

Oh he was familiar with it then.

Yeah, if he--those anti-Semitic--they studied Jewish history, you know. So they hanged Jews before, so that got, got--gave them an idea to, to, to execute Jews at Purim, you know. To take advantage of Jews that are home in five thousand years aways. So people committed some petty crimes, you know, like I don't know, I'm not familiar with exactly what, what they did, but, if somebody committed either going out from the ghetto, going out without a yellow star or, I don't, whatever, or going--or they caught somebody a half an hour after five, say seven o'clock when supposed, when the curfew was o...something like that. And they had a list, you know. So they come to, to the Jewish police and they told we wanted ten people. We didn't tell 'em for what. They arrested ten people and they took 'em away and they put up a quarantine and they hanged 'em, you know. And they, and they made an announcement in the German press and the, the local Germans came dressed up like to a funeral. And, and, you know, they--I--it's very seldom you see this here in the United States, but in Europe if somebody--they have the goyim, the Germans most if they have a funeral they put on Hapsburger hats, you know, and Franks, you know, and white shirt, they get dressed up like kings, you know. And they came like this and stayed across the street and watched it, they had a carnival.

They could see inside the ghetto, they could see the people in?

No, they let them in, they invited them to come in. They couldn't see it--normal they couldn't come in, but they invited them to come in for this purpose.

And did the other people have to come out of their homes too?

Oh yeah, everybody had to come out. They, they just, they, they, they said that everybody got to be there and see what's happen. And then a few months later--every few years, they in 1945 they did the same thing again. Take another ten people.

Forty-two, you mean.

In '42. So that was the situation. It's very difficult to, it's very difficult to, even for people to put it together, you know.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn