Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Life in Sweden

What did you do in Sweden?

What I did? I, I worked in a factory where they made paintbrushes all those years. I didn't--I came in, I didn't know nothing. The unions were called, everybody was cooperating and they wanted to get me in and that's what I was doing.

What town was this in?

Oh it was ???, it was a little town.

And was there uh, synagogues and things...

Oh yeah, because the Jewish community, they ??? enough. When we came to Sweden there was about seven or eight thousand Jews. They did a tremendous job for us. They sent out their cantors and their rabbis to the camps and they sent out, for every holiday they sent out, you know, people--employees in the co...from, from federations and they brought us gifts and they brought us money. We--I can tell you that in the first few years they, they, they straightened out our mind. They gave us so much courage that we didn't even remember that was a camp. We didn't even want to think about it. We just got just like their own people. Wednesday go to the movie, Friday go out with a girlfriend to a dance. In Sundays sit home or invite each other for coffee, you know, that. Exactly, exactly as they, as they would, without any--everybody got Swedish friends. And it was very good there.

Why did you ever leave?

Oh, you see when the Korean War broke out, that had a, that had a very, very on the people--on the survivors in the Second World War. We were afraid that everything will come wrong again, you know. And some people couldn't adjust themselves, because there was practically no Jewish life there. We did as much as we could, we built a--if we were about twenty, twenty-five people together we could be organized--a little organization, you know, to get together for a Pesach, for a cheder, things like this.


But there were no--except in the big cities there was no Jewish life. In the city where we lived, there were just five, six families all those years.

That's almost nothing.

That's almost nothing. And the, the kids grow up and it was, it was easy--and they, they would feel themselves ???, but eventually those who stayed, they moved over to the big cities and they stayed there day after day. I had just--I had visitors last year. We have visitors two years ago from our friends in Sweden. They came over here for trips and stopped by. And they got ???. Some of 'em got very wealthy. They went in business, you know, and--so we came over here in 19...

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