Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

Deportation of Family II

At what point were uh, other members of your family taken?

Uh, outside of my sister, who not living in Amsterdam, they all were taken together during the Razzia, the action uh, in May, I believe, of '43.

Were you--were, were you?

I was that night working uh, as usual as a member of the civil defense department, which in the meantime had mushroomed because lots of people wanted to be part of that. It helped them temporary to uh, avoid. So I was there during that night. We had found out that there was going to be an action. And in the hospital itself there were sometimes patients who had come from the uh, Dutch theater, prison. Either because, for example, one guy he, he jumped from the second floor and broke his legs to try and escape. Others who fell ill to illness. Uh, so we had there a ward which was under guard. Now we knew that the Dutch plain clothesmen who were guarding them outside of the door, they were okay. They were trustable. They could be trusted. So I talked on that morning to one of them and asked, "Okay, can you do me a favor? We live here. Will you please try and get through to my parents and tell them--the family, to hide in the attic." The man must have tried. He told me later on, the following day whenever it was that I saw him again, that he was--came there but he couldn't get any through, further. You had to keep a safe distance, in fact, because the command, the, the center of command for that German action was located in the street probably in front of our house. So he couldn't do that in front of their nose.

Had he seen your family being taken?

He did not see it. I did talk after the war to a lady who lived in the house next to us uh, who saw that particular day my mother coming out on the balcony and looking outside, perhaps uh, before the Germans were standing in front of the building or whatever. And, and then going inside. That's all I know. I came home that day, the same day, in the afternoon let's say. And I found that my family had left all their prepared belongings. We had been told by the Jewish Council, put uh, knapsacks ready in case you are taken. We knew about that. Uh, we were on call so to speak. I found that everything had been left there. They hadn't taken anything with them. But they had gone. Uh, this was uh, when I started praying to God uh, more intense than ever in my life. Anything so that they would return later on uh, that they would at least return safely. Uh, I still believed in God then. Uh, I sent their prepared uh, belongings to Westerbork. They also wrote to me asking uh, me to send protective glasses because there were sandstorms there. Because it was a very sandy province uh, where Westerbork was located. I got hold of them and mailed to them.

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