Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986


Let me take you back for a minute to the--to 1941. Did you ever witness any of the terror Razzias, the roundups in the street? Or had you heard about them?

I don't, I had heard about things, but--okay, around that time I must have responded in a particular way to the happenings. The happenings were that, it was pro...I don't know whether it was '41, it might have been already '42 by then, that more and more people were deported. I heard names. They were known to me. Uh, I responded by developing a psychological anesthesia. It didn't phase me anymore. It was like--it, it, it was unreal. So I must have heard about those things, but I had to protect myself emotionally. It would have been unbearable otherwise.

What about your sister, your, the rest of your family?

Okay, there's a little story about my sister. She got married in '39. Her husband was originally from Germany--from Cologne. He was a physician. Uh, they got married in Amsterdam before the war. And then he had a practice in Brussels. Sometime late in 1940, perhaps the beginning of '41, my brother-in-law the physician sent over a friend with a car across the Belgium border, which was in itself already quite a feat to be able to do this under German occupation. He came to us to pick my sister up. My father... And this was on a Friday and it could be done only the following day, and this may have been a lifetime chance for them to be reunited. And this was known to us. Uh, but it could, ??? only on Shabbos. So my father talked to the chief rabbi ??? of Amsterdam, and his answer was no. My father gave my sister permission anyway. They were later on the way to uh, Switzerland, they were caught in northern France and we got in 1942 a postcard from Auschwitz from--by my sister, sent by my sister.

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