Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

Hiding in Morgue

No, you were going to tell me about that this time.

I was going to? Okay. Um, in 1943, I don't know the date. It was definitely before uh, the Razzia in--of the ghetto, in--at the central ghetto of Amsterdam. Um, I was working in the hospital and the Germans had told the Jewish Council in that, that Jewish Hospital that they needed a certain number of employees. Uh, so I was working there and suddenly I hear over the PA that people are going to be, uh... And I have to go with the Germans and, and were given instructions where to go. And uh, slowly the names were mentioned uh, probably alphabetically. When my name was reached, the person who was doing the broadcasting said Simon Vayivrach Maroko. And rei...and repeated everything, so again, Simon Vayivrach Maroko. Well Vayivrach uh, is a Yiddish, it is uh, also perfectly good ???. Uh, it means uh, referring to uh, "And He Fled." Vayivrach. Literally it means, "And He Fled." So I got the message. And uh, I first moved as if I was going to uh, report myself where I was uh, supposed to go. And then I made a detour and ended up in the morgue uh, off the hospital. This was either in the morning or early afternoon and I stayed there for hours upon hours upon hours. And I didn't know whether the coast was clear or not. Uh, it may have been around seven or so in the evening, perhaps even later, that I saw someone passing by. And I approached the person and maybe he saw me also. But maybe I... And I asked him uh, ??? "Can I--do I still have to stay here in hiding or not?" He had, was of course very surprised to uh, notice that he was... Then he said, "No, they've gone already several hours ago." So it was one of the four or fives times that uh, my life was, my life was saved by pure uh, luck. I remember the same year uh, during Pesach. Uh, normally uh, up until then every seder was celebrated at home. Uh, that year we were asked uh, to volunteer to lead the seder for a limited number of patients in the hospital because the walls were uh, such a nature that uh, maybe thirty or forty patients could be together and there were various groups like that. And I remember that I uh, I led seder that one night for a group of patients. After I escaped the first time from the Dutch theater prison, I stayed at home, I lived there, I cooked. I remember uh, we had lots of potatoes. In fact, they had already started sprouting. Uh, but they were still very edible. I cooked them and I think we had lots of green beans that were still left over and, and I mixed those two. And uh, so I had where to--I had a shelter and I had something to eat them. On the door that led to the street of my parents' house, I had placed after uh, the first escape a large notice which said, the inhabitant of this house--maybe even I had my name there, I, I'm not sure, but our name was on the door anyway uh, so they would have known who that was--the inhabitant of this house is still working in the Jewish Hospital. My idea was that if this is the, the end, at least it won't be Puls. Puls meaning that the house will be emptied by the uh, firm by the name of Puls, P-u-l-s, in that Puls. Uh, they would empty all the houses uh, that had been uh, that the Jews had been deported from.

A moving company, is that...

Moving company.


they were cooperating with the Germans and then it was sent to Germany or whatever. I had put that sign out for that purpose. And one... Every night uh, we lived on the first second and third floor and we had, and it was from the third floor quite a long uh, flight of stairs. I went down and I double-locked the front door so that they would have our...

[interruption in interview]

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