Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Harry Praw - June 30, 1982

Problems After Liberation


And then I lived in Bergen--I lived on the British, oh, for about five, six months but then I moved to the American sector, I mean, as people started traveling. We started traveling from one city to the other after the war it was about in the end of April, the middle of May because they started coming from different directions. We heard that, "Oh, here's a Jewish camp, and there's a Jewish camp, and there's another Jewish camp," and they started coming from all over. So what everybody said, "Why don't you go..." the American sector was better. The Jews were better treated on the American side than on the British side. Because we couldn't do nothing to the Germans, no matter what they did. As a matter of fact...

What happened to the Germans that you saw in the camp?

Well they said some of them--they killed some of them. I mean, some of them they shot, some of them--they hung some of the--a few of them they hung there. If the English didn't kill them, the Russians killed a few of them. A week or two later after I was liberated by the so-called lib...my liberators, we smuggled ourselves out of camp just to look for food, me and a friend of mine who lives now in Montreal. The--and the English made a raid and rounded up all the Jews that they found running in the countryside begging for food. So they arrested me for my good luck, they arrested me and this friend of mine that lives now in Montreal. And some German woman came in and made a complaint that my friend killed a German. This was a week after we were liberated. They kept us in jail for about a week and the woman came in and said this man had killed her husband. And these were my liberators. We were...

Why weren't you provided with food at that time? I mean why didn't they...

Their excuse, their excuse was they were afraid we would get sick being that we, we were--I must have weighed about forty or fifty pounds after I got out. So they were afraid that we will die or that something will happen or that we'll get some kind of disease. So we tried to run out, we tried to run the gates, smuggle ourselves out of camp to see if we can beg for some food. They kept me in jail for about a week with this friend of mine until we had a Jewish--a British Jewish soldier and he spoke a little Yiddish and he asked us what happened and we had to explain that we weren't even at the place where she said my friend killed a German. By then it got you to wonder--nobody wanted to know what happened to me, my side of the family but they were worried that a German got--they killed a German. So they kept us and we were lucky that this Jewish soldier came in and he--we proved to him that we weren't even nearby. So they let us out after keeping us locked up a week in jail. That was my liberators--the good British.

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