Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Meeting Josef Rosensaft in Camp

And one morning interesting thing, there was--I saw there was a Jewish person across from me, the next--on the next uh, car, and he recognized me that I was Jewish. And he was ver...he was a smart man and he came over and he said, "I have a feeling that when you--and this place is a little safer than anyplace else, you see what's going on, maybe I can, I can stay next to you." He saw me sitting in those lobbies and talking all the time with that, with that Yugoslav. I said, "Okay." So he told me who, who he was. And that was Mr. Josef Rosensaft. He was the leader from all the survivors in the concentration camps. He died in New York a few years late...a few years ago. His son was just here. I never met him after that. So he told me that he was active in Jewish organizations in his hometown and this and this. And I saw it was an interested person and I said, "I'm glad. Stay here, maybe we'll be able to survive that, that journey together." So they didn't bring us into Bergen-Belsen and no concentration camps.

They didn't take you inside Bergen-Belsen?

No. They brought, they brought us into that--to, to, that was a military base there.

At Bergen-Belsen?

Yeah, it was very--it was like, like we have Fort Knox in the United States, you know.


Very unbelievable, miles and miles and miles.

You mean Josef Rosensaft was with you in Dora and went from Dora to Bergen-Belsen...

I didn't know him in Dora. On, on, on the train he saw that I find myself in a safe spot with that Yugo...Yugoslav SS person. So he came over to me and he said that they're shooting people all over the place, wherever they have a chance.

Oh, he told you that that was his name?

So he told me--yeah, so he told, "Maybe, maybe I can stay here close to you. Maybe it'll be safer here." The same SS man he, he killed a few people. He was no better than the other ones. He saw once a man go down, like to go to the toilet to the woods. He took the gun and he took his rifle and shot him. He said, "I'm going to shot him without anything. To hell with him," he said, "he didn't ask me to go. He excused himself I didn't ask--he didn't ask me to go." He said, "If he would ask me I wouldn't have shot him." Anyhow, we came in there and that was a milita...that was houses, not, not, not like a concentration camp. That was the German army was stationed there.


Yeah. And they...

In Bergen-Belsen.

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