Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

Knowledge of Westerbork

When the deportations started um, were people you know being taken away?

Lots of them.

In the very beginning? What, what was--had you heard of Westerbork, for example? What did you know of Westerbork?

I don't know when I started hearing about this, but it for sure was known to us. It was one of the camps where they were sent to, and after that we didn't know. But um, in 1943, when I was working at the Jewish Hospital, obviously they had Chevra Kadisha there, they had undertaking uh, experts. And one of them talked to me and told me, we are all going to be sent to Poland and nobody will return. So I could never say that I never heard that opinion. But I had no proof. Because uh, the people who were taken were told, "Oh you are going to be placed to work." It was the Germans' ruse.

In the...

They deceived us.

Yeah. Did you believe that?

At the beginning perhaps. Because I know that uh, in Westerbork, yes they could work there and that probably some people were working there. Before this stage, the Germans already had given an order to Jews from the outside of Amsterdam to all of them come to live in Amsterdam. So we had at one time a young middle-aged bachelor who came from the northeastern province of Holland. He was given my older brother's room. He was living with us.

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