Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Adele Sandel - [n.d.]

Life in After Liberation II

And, then we stayed in that city, I don't remember how long. We didn't have a bed. We didn't have a glass. We didn't have a chair. We didn't have a penny. We didn't have absolutely nothing and then we couldn't stay there anymore. It was a small city. We went into a bigger city, Koš...Kaschau was the name. Košice. It was a lovely city and we heard many Jews were, were staying there. And, it was a very important city because people were coming there with railroads and all that and we were expecting all--the whole family was, was away like my brother--my, my, father had seven, eight sisters and brothers. We didn't hear about them so we went into the city to wait for them, you know? And, my mother had four brothers so every...

How did you survive on food? What, where did you get your food from at this time?

It was a miracle. My brother was a young boy about sixteen, seventeen and he went into the villages and he begged and he asked and he was like um, how should I say? For a, a bottle of vinegar you got a pound of potatoes. And when you had the pound of potatoes--he once brought a goose. He had some money when he, he exchanged something and he brought a goose, a fat goose. And he was so happy that we will have soup and meat and, and the fat from the goose and he brought it on a bicycle--somehow he got a bicycle, I don't know from where. He brought that goose on a bicycle and he saw that the goose was dying. It was very hot and--no, it wasn't hot, it was cold--anyway, he brought the goose in a, in a basket and he saw the goose was like dying so he saw that this goose would never see a shochet. So he took some kind of, uh...

[interruption in interview]

...that my mother made gribenes and fat and we didn't eat it because it wasn't kosher. We were very observant. We still are. But, she sold it, I remember, to a restaurant and from that restaurant we got like flour and sugar and some eggs. And, that's how you exchanged food for--somebody had this and you had that so, you know...


...so you give this and...

Didn't they have Joints anywhere? They called them Joints...

Not there. It was very primitive when we came to that Košice, to that bigger city and a couple or three months you had to give everything was so, like, like horrible, like we already knew what was going on. We still didn't believe people were coming back. Their heads were shaved. The girls--we didn't even recognize them. They looked--and the boys, the men they looked like Muselmann. They didn't weigh more than seventy, eighty pounds. I didn't recognize my uncles. They didn't have uh, they, they came home in those um, uh, you know, those striped where what they wore in Auschwitz, you know. And every single day we went to the railroad station to wait for relatives. That was our entertainment for weeks, for months. Every day around four or five o'clock came the train from Poland who brought the, the people who were s...survivors from this ho...from this terrible--even--not only from Auschwitz, from the other camps. From Bergen-Belsen, from um, Bi...Birkenau, from Majdanka, it was already after the war. That was in '45, in February, March and April, already I'm talking about. The war was over. This is it. So um, yeah, then they, they made like a Joint, like, already was a kitchen and those people who, who came they went to that, that Joint and that kitchen. I helped, too. My sister helped. We went to, to cook and to prepare and to, to give them a hand, you know, and we collected uh, clothing and whatever we could. Soap and shoes and whatever like there is a terrible um, earthquake or a disaster someplace else.

Red Cross.

Yes, that's like a Red Cross. But we got some help from the city also, but mainly the Jews picked together whatever who had and, and we just took and, and cooked. My mother cooked and baked all day long and we took all these things to that kitchen and hot soup for these people who came, you know.


And, uh, what was I going to bring out from this? And, my uncles came, my mother's. All four brothers came back. My father's none. From the seven sisters and brothers, nobody came back. My mother's four brothers, who are still--one is in Israel, one is in Los Angeles, one is in Miami Beach. They came back. But, none, none of the families came back.

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