Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sonia Nothman - January 4, 1983


Uh, what was it like living in Germany? What did...

After the war?

Yeah. What were the people like? How did they treat you?

They were scared, afraid. I lived uh, in a house where a German have a house. He have a ??? house all over. But uh, after the war they had, he had to give up some rooms. He was nice. With him, I could...But his wife, if she could uh, do anything ???. I know, I felt it. One time I remember right the first few weeks when I was married uh, she asked me, oh she smelled ??? coffee. They're crazy about coffee. I didn't even know. I didn't have coffee. I didn't know how to cook coffee even. I said, "I don't have coffee." So she knows my husband to get her coffee. I mean, very. I don't trust her. To this day I don't trust a German. I don't trust. I lived five years and when I went into the store, I spoke German, I could write German, because I couldn't read nothing else there. I bought magazines and books. But uh, the accent, you could see especially this was ??? they speak different like here hillbillies in New York or Detroit. So they knew right away that, uh...I know. The minute I walked out they talked about me and everything. I couldn't wait the day to go. When I got pregnant, then I got my paper to go to United States. And I have to go to Munich to see, before I go to check me, if I didn't belong to someplace else. And I said I'm my third month, so they sent me back. If I said my six month...I couldn't lie. I, I said I'm going to say, but when it came to, I got scared. So they sent me back. Oldest brother was born there. But I still didn't trust. I went to Austria. I lived on the border and I have the--not that they're better, I don't know. But I didn't trust--somehow I didn't trust Germans. So I went there and my daughter was born, so I remember the--a day before I was supposed to, to Munich to United States. The woman came in, our neighbor there and she started crying.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn