Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Opatowski - November 2, 1981

Outbreak of War

Uh, what--when did you hear about the war breaking out?

Well, we, we expected the, this. We expected to come any uh, any month of the year. Yeah, we expect uh, say uh, two, two, three years, four years before that. The minute this Hitler came to, to, to power we expected to become involved in the war.

And did you hear of the camps uh, before you were taken away?

Oh yes, all the, the, before the war we, we, we knew, we knew a lot. We knew everything what went on there in Germany. The minute this Hitler uh, came to power we were, we were informed of everything and the, the persecutions of the Jews. And, of course.

And uh, and here wasn't any disbelief or, uh...

Oh this, there we believe that it would come to a catastrophic moment, but uh, you know, people like to, to put away from one day to another, to the other. And especially a family like I mentioned to you. Nine children and three of them had children al...already or, or a husband or a wife.??? so you cannot just uh, just take yourself pack, pack a, etc., a luggage and go, go travel the world. And here we... The place, we stayed at the place where my father stay, was born in this town and his father was born in the town. We believed, but, but we couldn't believe it could come, could come in a moment like this as, as the result killing.

How did you come to Auschwitz?

Of course uh, from one labor camp to the other labor camp 'til uh, 'til I got to Auschwitz.

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