Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Rotbaum Ribo - July 5, 2005

Finding Family After the War

Had, had you checked for names with your family?

I registered, I asked, but eh, never got an answer. And eh, so I said, "Okay, I will go to Sweden." And eh, a few days later, there were two or--two or three trucks, and they put about--filled them up, and I was on them. On the way, we stopped in Bergen-Belsen to get some more people that were going to eh, Sweden. And when I--we went off those trucks, I saw thousands of Jews in Sachsenhausen. And I even recognized some that we were together in Pionki. And they told me that there is eh, who--others that I knew. So, on the spot I decided I'm not continuing to Sweden, and I--maybe I'll find somebody there. And I really found the daughter of one of my cousins--the wife of one of my cousins eh, my um eh, father's sister's son, was married to--in Kozienice. They lived in Kozienice. The one that lived in Kozienice...

This was in Bergen-Belsen?


In Bergen-Belsen?

That was in Bergen-Belsen, yes. And she survived, and she was in Bergen-Belsen, and I met her. And eh, I met also the head of the police that was in Pionki, Mendel, was also there. And some from Głowaczów were there. So I decided I don't continue, I stayed there, and maybe I will find somebody.

And had they come on a death march?


Did they come on the death march to Bergen-Belsen?

Yes, yes. They came to Bergen-Belsen already after the war somehow. The march it was eh, finished not far from eh, eh, from eh, Hamburg, somewhere in that vicinity, that region. Anyhow, in Bergen-Belsen eh, there was already a Kinderheim, for those youngsters who survived. So I was sent to that Kinderheim, and was very pleasant. We were looked after and got lessons and all activities, and food and was lovely there. And I tried, of course, about my family, and registered, but nobody knew anything. And then one day they announced that eh, England is taking a group of youngsters from Bergen-Belsen to England--the survivors from the Kinderheim. So, I decided I will go to England. And they took eh, sometime later they took a group from Bergen-Belsen to England...

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