Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Leon Salomon - June 18, 1990


What happened after that, after the burial, you buried your brother, you were alone with your two sisters, did you think about your parents, going back?

No, there was no thinking of going back because the distance of the place where I was and my parents were, you talking about in kilometers maybe three or 400 kilometers. This was an impossible mission. And secondly, where would I go back? Still Germany there, why would it be better there than here? And we didn't know the fate of them either. We remained, we had a small place, the place where we used to stay, we were kicked out so we stayed in another place with another Jewish family, had a room to ourselves, and we went to work and that's that. We lived off the things that we had, the personal things we use to sell, trading for bread or for whatever necessities needed.

Where did you work?

Worked for the Germans, cleaning the streets, sometimes building, sometimes shoveling the snow, there was always something we had to do. That's work you didn't get paid you know.

Just food?

Nothing. Food you had to work for, that's right.

The Germans, you would work for the Germans in the day and then go back to this home that you were staying in?


And how would you find out that you needed to go to work for the Germans, was there an order given, did somebody come to the house?

No, the Judenrat, they use to go to Judenrat, we need so many people, in return the Judenrat use to go from house to house and tell we need so many people to work.

What did the community think of the Judenrat?

I beg your pardon?

What did the community, the other Jews, think of the members of the Judenrat?

The Judenrat was actually, somebody had to be Judenrat, it's a false understanding of many people. In some places maybe people did it willingly. They always, at anytime the Germans occupied a city or town, there were a number of Jews, they wanted to be a Judenrat or a council or whatever may be the case. In other words, through them they gave all the orders. So, somebody had to be there. So there's nothing that we thought of anything bad about them.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn