Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

False Papers

Did you have at any point, have false identity papers?

I got false identity papers only after the aborted attempt to counterattack next to Arnhem in 1944. When that didn't work and the Dutch population of Arnhem, we evacuated. I got papers which "proved" that I was one of the evacuees from there.

How did, how did that come about? Was that on, was it Mad Tuesday or...

It was um, it was, it was probably way later. Because the Mad Tuesday occurred--and I didn't know about that, being in hiding there--it was way before, when they approached southern Holland and the Germans thought that all of Holland would be liberated. Instead of that, only the southern part was


liberated. And, and it took quite awhile before they made the plans for the uh, uh, drop in the action uh, in the area of Arnhem, which didn't succeed.

Tell me how you got the false papers.

I got the false papers from the underground. This was a, a heaven sent uh, occasion to uh, type up papers and I have--I still have that original. And uh, I had right from the beginning, I had assumed a false name which utilized my two last initials. I'm SWM, Simon Wolf Maroko. Wolf or Ze'ev Maroko. So I kept, I left off the S and W for William and M for Master. And that name in Dutch is on my uh, false ID. With that I could qualify for uh, food ration coupons, which was extremely important, becoming more and more important then.


Because the Germans started punishing all of Holland by not permitting any uh, food to be uh, transported. I didn't know so much about it. In fact, there was one occasion, probably around that time, that on a Sunday, I went with the farmer to visit his parents and they had cows there. So they had one huge container with milk and they knew I was hungry and uh, they were hungry too, but uh, they permitted me to drink as much of that milk, which had been standing, so it had become cream practically, the top layer. They let me drink as much as I wanted, which I did. But for several months after that I couldn't even hear the word milk.

So now you were, you were, you were not really in hiding at this point, you...

I was every night in hiding. In fact, later on our hiding place was used by the son of a neighbor, Catholic, who had to hide in order not to be sent to Germany. And there was another relative of the farmer's wife who was there in hiding for the same reason. And there were sometimes--and he was Protestant and me being a Jew, still very Orthodox then. Interesting, we had some--most of our subjects were about food because we didn't have enough food. We were dreaming about food then. But there were some religious arguments there. Can you guess between who? Between the Catholic and the Protestant.

Protestants. [laughs]

That's why ???. ???.

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