Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Life After Liberation

Are you telling me that the women's camp were separated from the men's camp?

No, no, no, no, no.

Or are you telling me that...

I'm telling you that we never came into Bergen-Belsen...


...as known Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. I mean, I was never there. That's what I'm trying to--I was a military base in Bergen-Belsen...

I see, okay.

...not in a...

Not to the camp.

But there was survivors in that terrible concentration camp which was one of the worst camps that ever existed, Bergen-Belsen. I saw it after the war burned--the British burned. After they ou...they evacuated everybody they burned it up. I saw it when it was burned up. I never saw it when it exist.

I see.

So all of a sudden we saw, a few days after, after we were liberated the British Blue Cross. They come every few minutes, every five minutes--every two minutes come a Jeep with a blue cross and they bring people. They went by--we didn't know. So there was a typhus epidemic there and they evacuated those people and opened a hospital. And they did everything they could they, they went out to the cities and took out from the German civil corps and brought them into the camp. And everybody could go there and fit themselves a pair of shoes, a suit and whatever. And little by little we started to go out in the cities and tried to get a little more food. And three weeks after the war was still on at that time. The British were still fighting the war. And three weeks after that...

What condition--physical condition were you in by this time?

I was healthy. I was skinny, I weighed maybe, I don't know, maybe a hundred pounds, or something like that. But I didn't feel that this--so, then we went out and we started to eat a little, and started--then after a few weeks they, they transferred us to a German city Celle. It was a few...


Yeah, it was a few miles away from there. The British transferred us there. Still then the war was on. And there the war ended in Celle. So when we were in Celle, we could go to the city hall, to the Germans, and ask for ration cards, you know, and ask--and go and buy, and ask for money for welfare. And they give it to us--the Germans. It was the same people who were there, you know, the, the employees in the city. They just--they wanted us to be, to be Germans. So we told 'em that we, we are from a German city. We told 'em from Breslau, those names of German cities we knew all by the Polish border. They, they couldn't ask no more questions, you know. And that.

They didn't ask you if you were a Jew.

No, no--not, not, not--we found a synagogue there. We found a Jewish cemetery in Celle. Some Germans--we found an old synagogue in a wooden building. And we went there and we have a celebration for Shavuot. Then we started to go back to Bergen-Belsen just for company. There were a lot of girls there, there was a lot of, of boys there. That, that, that became a DP camp at that time.

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