Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

Conditions in Hiding

Let me go back again then. What was it like in hiding?

In hiding, it was adjusting to uh, difficult circumstances in a nutshell. Uh, [pause] can you stop it for a second?

[interruption in interview]

The other boy who escaped together with me stayed at least several weeks there. After a relatively short time, he became so homesick for his mother that he requested to be permitted to join his mother in Westerbork. This in itself was an extremely potentially dangerous thing because he could be caught, he could be tortured, he could uh, divulge. Um, we were very careful at the beginning. And I believe as one of the things that was decided by the farmer is that uh, from now on, instead of me sleeping in a place that would be right away visible, it would be in a place that would be invisible to the outsider. Um, there was an entrance hall through the farm. At the end of the entrance hall there was a toilet. So many toilets in my story of life. The ceiling of the toilet was made out of not very thick wood. It could be cut and sawed and hinges could be applied so it could be moved up. So you get already the access to a particular place. One more thing that was necessary is to take the left wall of the entrance hall, which stopped at the ceiling of the first floor That wall didn't go any higher. There was there a ceiling of that um, entrance hall and it became a place where we would sleep on. He built with bricks until the inverted uh, V shaped roof, which was right on top of that. It was not--it was a low farmhouse. So we got there, and in that space we could only be reached from the outside and unless you took meticulous measurements, you wouldn't know that there must have been a place like that. It was never discovered.

Cramped, sounds like.

It was about like this uh, how would you call it? A little bit over a yard wide. The length was long enough for, four people. At one time there were...

[interruption in interview]

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