Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ben Moche - April 24, 2009

Surviving the Germans

'67. After the Six Day War, yeah, okay. Okay, and um, I know you were a young boy at the time, but what uh, what do you think helped you, help your family to survive? Any thoughts on this?

You mean survive...


From Germany?


Faith in God.

Faith in God.


Can you explain?

We just uh, I don't know how to explain, but all my life I was proud to be a Jew.




And can I explain it, I can explain it very, very, very, very easy in, in, in, in later life. Uh, when I came to United State I worked for a Jewish guy, you know. I'm not going to get into...

Yeah, yeah.

Who he was or what he was...


Or things like that. But evidently I had problems taking off Yom Kippur.


And Rosh Hashanah and things like that. I took off, he didn't want to pay for holidays and things like that. So, I got a job in a regular Gentile big shop.


And I realized then [pause] that I'm a Jew, I'm gonna be treated different because I'm a Jew, even though I am in United State. Meaning, my first day in there one of the guys there, Mexican guy, puts a Jewish star on his apron. And he said, and you know, this goes back when you don't know what different, you know, things like that. You just want to work. And he says, "I love Jews."


And the next thing he does, he gives me a pamphlet from his church.


Okay, no big deal. But then, I was young, you know, and I, I really was not a die maker, I was good engineering and things like that. So, I learn fast, you know. They expected much more from me, but the big shot donors loved me, you know.


So anyway, every time I used to go to the men's room there was a guy following me. He came in and he says, "what are you doing here, he says, all your brothers are doctors and lawyers, you must be a reject." Honest to god, that's the truth. And, and I took it, you know, and I took it, and I took it. And I, I never reacted because uh, I said to myself I'm ??? still here, I mean, you know. Still, you know, even here they don't like Jews, you know.


And when I left, my last day, when I left because I got another job, he came in again, again he think, you know, just screwing around and again he did the same thing to me. So I said to him, "John, you're right, I'm not a die maker but you're wrong, I'm not a reject." Says, "So what are you?" I said, "I'm a writer, I'm a journalist that write a book about Jewish experience in a Gentile shop and you're the star of the book."


And I walked out, you know, and the whole shop just kind of, couldn't understand what's going on. Right here on Telegraph and Ten Mile Road.


So, I mean, Judaism is always in my, in, in, in, in my uh, in, in my blood, you know.


I mean, in, in uh, to me you don't have to be a Jew just to go Shabbos, to shul, or not to drive a car, or things like that. It's what you do for humanity, that's what uh, that's what makes you uh, that's what makes you a Jew.


You know what I am saying? Even there I have uh, my beliefs, you know uh, I'm not a conservative Jew, which I was. Even everybody says that Israelis don't believe in nothing, you know, but the Israelis will not go into conservative synagogue where woman and men sit together.

Mm-hm, mm-hm

I don't know if you know that or not?

I've heard that.

They won't go in.

Yeah, it's not the real...

No, it's not.

Judaism, yeah.

And how can you go to shul if you drive a car?

Uh-huh, uh-huh.

You know. So, so, it's not the real Judaism. So uh, all our faith wasn't in Judaism, I mean, I grew up from age two--three, you know.


And this was supposed to mean my good luck charm that would change everything, you know.



Saying Sh'ma.



And uh, it affects me more now really in the older age than it affect me then, you know. Because uh, I understood that time, that, that, you know, there, there uh, I couldn't understand it exactly but I understood that they killing Jews, you know. As a child, but I knew that nothings gonna happen to me.


Because I said the Sh'ma.

Uh-huh. And the Sh'ma would protect you?

Protect me?

God would protect you.

Right, right, right, and he did.

Uh-huh. You're here.

I'm here.

Yeah. Your family is here.

My family is here.


My parents made it out, you know.

Yeah, yeah.

You know.

And, and your, you, you grew up in an Orthodox...

Orthodox environment.



Yeah, very religious?

Very religious environment.

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