Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982

Reasons for Survival

Why do you think you survived?

I haven't got no idea, I haven't got no explanation for this. I didn't do nothing to it to help myself. I couldn't do nothing. I couldn't do nothing.

Well, there were people that went to the fence who wanted to die. You must have had some will to live.

I was never in that position that I even could do that. Not everybody could do it. It, it never went through to my mind that I should kill myself.


No. First--one thing, if somebody's going to believe me or not. I didn't--I'm a very in...informed person, even when I was young I knew what's going on, you know. And I didn't believe for one single minute through all the war that the Germans are going to win. I didn't believe it. I believed that they're going to lose. I knew they going to lose. Because they--their, their, their victories in all their--it didn't make any sense.

Well, it took a long time.

It took a long time, I knew that, it'll take a very big effort and a long time, because nobody can, can imagine how strong.

Do you ever talk about this to um, other people besides your friends that you see?

No, no I really, I really avoid it to talk with other people.

Can you watch movies like The Holocaust and...

Yeah, yeah. I--in my opinion it is not five percent. A person who watches it and he wanted to know he, he could have an idea of what happened. But it's no comparison. Can somebody imagine like to take and, and, and liquidate a community which existed for hundreds of years in one day and thousands and thousands of people, you know. You, you can't show that in movies, you can't write it in books. Impossible.

Well, can you watch it? Does it bring back all those feelings?

I go to sleep, you see. I feel that I lived through so much that ??? I can't let it bother me, you see, that's what I feel. Because it's over, you know. I hope it'll never happen ago. I don't hate, I don't even hate--I hate the Germans who participated in this, but not, not, not the, the generation was born after that. I really don't hate. Because everybody's responsible for his deeds, you see. First off, that generation who lived at that time, I saw what ??? used to say, "To punish Germany you have to take a half a country and put them in the, in a concentration camp and the other half of country should guard it." How can you punish? What can you do? They knew. I don't believe that excuse that they don't knew. A hundreds and thousands of Germans were active participants in this thing. Hundreds and thousands of Germans. Not, not, not thousands or a few hundred. Hundred and thousands of Germans.

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