Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984

Relations with German Jews in Camp

Were they were prisoners in the camps?

Naturally they were prisoners.

And they kept separate from you?

No, it depends in--they would like to be separated. Only it depends on what kind of job he was and what kind of barrack he was, he was uh, connected. I mean, we slept in the same place. Only the--when we had the Gent...uh, not Jews, the Germans in our camp--concentration camp, they were, they were wearing triangles. So if he had a black triangle he was a saboteur. And when he was wearing a green uh, uh, triangle, he was a crook, he was a bandit. If he was wearing a red triangle he was a communist. So and uh, when I was in Buchenwald in, in 1945 uh, that was a, was a bad time and the Germans need every German to sent to the, to the Russian front, so they took them out from the jails and they put on the stripes and they charge inside and they all inside in the camp. They were charge in the camp. We had a Allied. LA1 and this Lagerältester--a German. And we had LA2 a Lagerältester. They were wearing bands or they were Kapos or they were in charge of the, of the warehouses or they were in charge of the kitchen. We had a lot of Germans was with us in the--so, go ahead. So then after the war--so we tried to forget. We never can forget this. Never. Nothing, not to forget and not to forgive. It's always going to be with me and it's always, I'm go...if I don't talk with you about that, I'm always thinking about and talking about it. Or if you go to a yizkor or even the High Holidays, or you go to Pesach, second day a little Pesach before yizkor or you go to Shavuot the second day for yizkor. I observe the yizkor. Or we go to Warsaw Ghetto yizkor. I belong, belong to the workman's circle. We had in April the 19th about the Warsaw Ghetto yizkor. So you're always reminded and you always uh, have it on my mind.

Do you uh, do you belong to a synagogue here?

I belong to uh, the men's club at Beth Abraham. Beth Abraham Moses, I belong to them. When I used to live in uh, on 7 Mile and Evergreen I used to belong to Beth Moses. Or they now, they merge with Beth Abraham, so I am with that.

Like law firms, they merged.

No, because now their synagogue can't exist by themselves. They have to merge.

[interruption in interview]

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