Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Maroko - February 19 & 26, 1986

German Occupation

The Germans.


Uh, after the surrender um, what is the sequence of events that you remember?

Okay uh, I graduated from the Jewish high school--and I perhaps should mention this because it's interesting and I'll come back to the events. Uh, I took the final exam after the Germans already had invaded. And uh, the final exam was the equivalent for all high schools in Holland. And this Jewish school in particular was interested in having very good results. When... And there was a man from the government who came there to examine us in addition to our own teachers who were--who would exam us. When that man asked me for the list of German literature that I had read or studied, I, for the first time in my life, I had a uh, a blackout. I could not remember one title. And now I understand of course this was my subconscious way of protesting anything German to, to express my uh, lack of uh, uh, desire or satisfaction with anything German. Okay, I did finish. My grade for German was a lot less than, or it might have been otherwise. Uh, I was accepted as a pre-medical student to the University of Amsterdam and uh, I finished the first year, which was then uh, let's say, towards the end of the summer of 1942. I passed an examination which is an extremely uh, rigid, difficult examination and um, around that time and I would have to consult my notes to know precisely what happened first uh, the numerus clausus was started by the, by the Germans. The Jews had to register, the David star and so on, and... So I could not continue for the second year. The Jewish Council already had existed by that time and they utilized the faculty of the College of Medicine of the University of Amsterdam who were Jews who had been fired to start uh, what really was intended to be a course in pre-clinical medicine. The name that it was given was massage in uh, therapeutic gymnastics. We had both courses in massage and gymnastics. But we also had the various pre-clinical studies about um, uh, the, the various uh, pre-clinical basic sciences.

So this was a ruse of some sort.

It was definitely a ruse.


And we were prepared in case that, and if the Germans might question it we could say yes, but we have uh, massage and uh, gymnastics. The other things were done in secret, were done in private homes.

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