Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]

Help from Americans

Did they speak your--they were speaking English?

They spoke in Yiddish.

In Yiddish?

Yeah, they were...

Were they Jewish?

...Jewish, Jewish soldiers, yeah. They were speaking Yiddish to us because of--in the beginning I, I, I thought that they are Germans because, you know, I was so in shock, I thought the Germans came in again. But they said in Yiddish, "Americane," American. Well, I believed them. So they told us--they asked me what I am and what I wanted. I said," I want--what, what can we--what can you give me? What can you help me?" They said, "You are very anemic, you can, you can get some blood from us." So I agreed to it so they gave me blood. I was the very first patient to receive blood. And uh, I don't know how many. I think two pints or something--I don't know. And then they brought us food. And this was our, our, our tragedy. The food was poison. Not--the poison was good, but for us it was poison, because on an empty stomach, you know, on empty stomach because for six, seven days we didn't eat nothing. So naturally we, they ga...gave us chocolate bars or, or those canned, canned goods--meats. This was really like poison for us. I got real sick after this. I got so sick I was three months hospitalized because I ate something and uh, and then I got diarrhea. And I, and I, I went down to maybe about fifty pounds. Oh terrible, I was like this. And uh, thanks to the doctors who helped me already. In the beginning the doctor said, "No, he is out." Because I was in a room with eight, eight people. And they were begging the doctor to give me something--some medicine. He said, "Oh, we, we cannot, we cannot waste on him because he's, he's only--he's on borrowed time. Only a question of, of, of hours he will be gone." So he, he wouldn't even spare a, a few, a few pills for me--a few tablets of something ??? to help me. The only thing they gave me is uh, coal, coal powder...

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