Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

Fate of Family

And the other members of your family? Were they taken?

No. Not until the, the Razzia, which was the action of deportation uh, in the center of the Jewish quarter, plus the periphery in which we lived, which was in 1943.

Near the end.

There was one time, probably the beginning of '43, when my father one day came home late from going to the afternoon evening service and I remember that my mother and me were kind of worried. We were very relieved that he came home. There was some reason why he was late.

Was there rationing?

Definitely. We were hoarding food already in 1941. I remember we had all kinds of food. We, we had kosher cheese, a whole wheel of cheese in a metal container. Uh, we kept this probably until way 1942, when uh, as a natural process it had started aging and we could hear there was liquid in it. But when we opened it, it was all delicious. Uh, I remember we bought eggs, either duck eggs or geese eggs and we had them in a huge container which was filled with liquid silica. Because it was uh, one of the best preservatives of, of eggs. And we had of course other food that was hoarded.

Meats, butter, things like that?

Probably also, but it was getting more and more difficult.

Were you still attending school right to the end?

Um, I was going to University of Amsterdam until, let's say, June or so of 1941.


Af...after that I had to start that course, pre-clinical studies, surreptitiously. And uh, after some time it was obvious that they were already deporting people and people who were working in certain jobs, the Jewish Council or otherwise, usually somehow related to Jewish Council, they got the stamp in their I.D. which said the temporary uh, the deportation was postponed. Title:Working


And for me to get that, my father talked to one of the Gabayim, the leaders of the Jewish community and he got a job for me in the Jewish Hospital, because he was probably on the Board of Directors there too. I have one memory about that same Gabay and it must have been in end of 1942, beginning of '43. My father was uh, singing in the service and he must have been overwhelmed by his own emotions, which was not very common. He usually brought other people to tears. But he himself crying, that was unusual. So he had to stop. And I remember that particular Gabay was sitting in the center bima uh, there were seats there for the leaders of the community. He just couldn't take it anymore. He got up, he was angry and he slapped his hand on the wooden uh, barrister or whatever it was there. I felt it was kind of inappropriate that he had so little understanding. I don't know whether my father was thinking of his own relatives or whatever, who probably by that time already were killed. I mean, his parents or whatever.

Uh, had you, had you heard of the talk about chief justice Visser and his...

No, I've read about this after World War II. All, all these things were, they were outside of our world. In fact um, the only contact that we had with Gentiles that wa...was of any meaning was when a friend of ours--Jewish--brought my father in contact with a business acquaintance, a Gentile, who came over to us and who was, of course, "willing to accept" jewelry, my microscope, for example, and to keep them. This was supposed to be done until after war and then to be returned. When I came to him later on, after World, World War II, and asked him to return it. He refused. He said it was given for him to keep. My own microscope. What would he do with a medical microscope? This man also somehow had uh, gotten hold of my hiding address--probably through the underground. And he came to visit me once in 1944 probably. And he was trying to convert me there. No deal.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn