Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

Conditions During Occupation

Did you have a radio? Did your family...

At home?

have a radio?

We had to turn everything in, radio, bicycle. I remember um, I sold my bicycle rather than turn 'em into the Germans for a few bucks, which was almost nothing, rather than doing it. We, we showed our passive resistance in some ways.

But you didn't get broadcast coming from the BBC.

We did not listen to the BBC at home. It was only much later at the farmers' house when there was a hiding place where I started listening to the BBC together with the farmer.

What else was taken away? Um, they took your bicycles, radio...

Yes, my father was making probably uh, at least an average income, having a contract for life. Pretty good job there. The Germans uh, said that he and others in his circumstances would be permitted to receive only a certain maximum number of money, of guilders. Anything over and above that was, was supposed to be either put in a special account or given to the Germans, I don't remember. So our income was already quite limited because of that. Definitely not what it was before.

That must have affected how you lived.

Yes, although I don't believe that I noticed any, any difference that I was aware of.

And did they take any of your personal property away? Things like, uh...


jewelry, silverware?

my... We probably had to, before that happened uh, we hid some of those valuables, including uh, cantorial music records uh, linen. Anything uh, China or whatever. We hid it in a particular place which was in between the two floors which we occupied. Uh, we got there by removing a side panel over French doors which was below the ceiling. Opened it on the side, putting our stuff in there, and closing it so that nothing would be visible. I also know that my father uh, asked a Dutch uh, Jewish carpenter to take a hand brush and put a ring or at least a diamond, either with the ring or, or without the ring, inside the wood, which was done. And this may be one of the things that my father perhaps used later on when he was in Poland already in the concentration camps to stay longer than what even the Red Cross knew. Because I got direct, first hand witness reports that people talked to him way after the date that the Red Cross uh, believed that he had died. Um, my--all Jews were told that they had to report any monies, funds outside of the occupied German territories. Um, my father went to the Germans and I went together with him. We were at the--one of those German off...offices. And he was to sign away his rights to a certain amount, which was at that time in a bank in New York. And I remember that vividly. I think he told them that it was a loan from an aunt who was living in London. Something like that.

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