Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Rita Rosenzweig - March 24, 1983

Recognition for Role in Underground and Conclusion

And the other papers that you have?

The other papers--pictures were taken from all the underground people with um, from the department that I was. You know every uh, town had a different name and there was a few that were killed, you know, they were arrested and shot. Only two. And then I think there's a few missing but most of them were on it that belonged to, um...???

Was that a project--was that a project that took place after the war?

After the war. Yeah, we got all together after the war. After the war the underground wore a special uniform, so people knew that--who was in the underground. It was some kind of...


Right. Yeah. It was made out of sack material. One piece. I remember with the Belgian arm and uh, the special um, ??? they used to call it.

How did you feel seeing people wearing that uniform?

Oh, great. It was good. You went on a bus for free and, and we collected, you know, all kinda things. And uh, yeah it felt good. It felt like you did something. You know, I think that's the only thing I felt good about. And uh, we got uh, as a matter of fact um, there was like some kind of decoration--I never got it. I suppose I could get it if I go to Belgium and um, I'm getting a pension, believe it or not. Not much. It's five dollars a month, but I'm taking it and giving it to my granddaughter. I figured what the heck that I should leave it to them, you know. So maybe I'll be lucky and have more. I don't know. But anyway, it's um, yeah, I think that the uh, um, the underground did a terrific job, really, during the war. I mean they really helped um, helped a lot. And I'm sure that they must have uh, taken care of a lot of Jewish people, too. I'm sure of it.

Of the people that are depicted in that plaque that you have of the pictures, how many are there in the picture?

I don't know. You want me to count 'em?

About thirty or forty?

I don't know. Oh there's more than that, I think. Look. These about sixty if not more.

Mm-hmm. How many of them would say were Jewish?

I was the only one.

You were the only one?

Yeah. Mm-hmm. I'm the only one in there.

And who awarded the decorations that you talk about?

Government. The Belgian government.


Yeah. Mm-hmm. They were uh, they do a good job, really. But it was widespread. You know they had the underground in France and Belgium and Holland, you know. So they all really worked uh--they were different groups because I think that every town had a different uh, a different name. And there was a lot of um, military man in the underground. I, I, I think it probably started with the military man that came back from the front. You know Belgium being taken within four or five days--like these two sons were in, were in the army, and uh, I suppose they got beaten so, so fast that I think it was really started by military man, you know, captain and all those people that started against the German which was really a good thing 'cause it was a big help because they were delaying transports of ammunition and there were, you know, really--so I think it was really--as a matter of fact now that I think about it, it is military man that started out.


Captains and all that 'cause they wrote about a book about it.

Were you ever aware of any of the names of any of these leaders?

No, because everybody went under a different name, so nobody had to write names, so--and nobody really used names. It was really mostly codes and things like that.


And you were never told any names because if you were arrested, you didn't know anything. So, you know, there was no uh, you couldn't talk so except at the little top man, I guess, there was a couple of them arrested and died but somebody had to, to know something I suppose.

There was not a single name that your unit went under?

Well, it was under ???. That was um, that was the one we were in. So and I this was one of the French-speaking one. They had Flemish ones. So because I was by Wagram which also speak French. Now these people where I went from the Maréchal to the ???--that's their name--they were Flemish-speaking. You know, and um, this lady spoke English and Flemish. The first one who took me to Maréchal , she spoke English and French but she lived in Liège, which was French-speaking. So when I went there, I had to learn Flemish. [laughs] So...

Did you ever have any contact with any of the people from the underground after the war?

No. Mm-mm. I didn't because um, you know it just--real...I really didn't know myself, you know, where I was going, what I was doing, and uh, it was just--I mean I was just at a loss, do you know how you just take things as they come and that was it because I really didn't know myself where I was going or what I was going to do or who was coming back. And it takes a long time to settle down again. You know, I just um, but you do.

Before we end, is there anything else you'd like to say? Add to the interview that you haven't already--that I've forgotten?

No, I don't think so. I think I said about everything.

Okay. Thank you very much.

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