Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Jewish Population

Does the name Fabiś Opatowski mean anything to you?

I uh, can remember a lot of names, but it, it, particularly what--it went out of mind. After all I was a young boy at that time--when the war break out I was not even nineteen years old.


So I remember names, because if you--that I--that came to my mind many times, you know, after the war. That the only place you are really at home is the place that you were born, you know. Because I, I happened to be in Sweden for quite a few years after the war. And I lived in a small town of about thirteen or fifteen thousand population, and those people they practically knew each other, you know. They knew the whole--everybody knew all their families and, and it was--it looked strange to me at that time because I just knew a certain group of the people, the people I worked with, or...

Oh, you mean in Sweden.

In Sweden, yeah. There, there was no Jewish population. Just a few newcomers at that time. The Swedes took us in after the war, you know. And I'm not going, I'm not going to talk about it because it's not important and that's probably not too much known, you know. But at the same time was when I grew up I practically knew the whole city, by name or by, by look, or if I would see one from that town, any place I would recognize him, even back as a young boy, you see.


But it never happened any place else anymore, you see. Not even here in...

What would you...

...Detroit. I, I just really know a group of people from after the war, you know.


A very few, except just known personalities in the city--I've been here for twenty-five years--except just known personalities in the city of Detroit. Otherwise we practically don't know nobody.

Well, it's a much larger city.

Regardless, but I, at the same time I know I worked with people who have grown up in the Detroit, you know, and they know whoever you talk about it, they know who it is. They, these people have business connections with the other person, they went together to school with...


...and this why I went together you see that is that kind of a situation, you know.

Oh right. In other words, you don't feel you have the roots here.

No, that's what I mean, yeah.

Like a stranger.

Not like a stranger, you know, you don't, you don't feel strange in a country like the United States, it is free.


With all the faults it is still the freest country and the best country, you know. But you don't feel strange here, no. I, I wouldn't say I feel strange. I am very, very...

You just don't have the roots.

I am involved, I understand the situation, right. I know everything what's going on around me and I'm interested anytime, not--but I don't have the roots, you know, like the people, like a person who is born...


...here in this community. That's what I want to point out.

That's right. It does make a big difference.

It makes a, a tremendous difference.

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