Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Schey - June 10, 1994

Yellow Star

So how did--what did you do?

I didn't wear a yellow star. And when I got there I put it on.

And if you had been stopped on the street without a yellow star?

I would have--there was one particular occasion on the street car, which is about a thirty-five minute ride from where I was to go to this factory, I was going without the yellow star, it was six o'clock in the morning and I'm not supposed to be there. And the gendarmes came up on the streetcar and started checking everybody. And I jumped off the streetcar, got on the streetcar and I wasn't caught, which I could have been easily. And this was one of the very pleasant experiences. After that I was a little wary of going to this factory. And then they realized what's going on, that you really can't be on the street to come there, so they made dorms for us to stay there, because they had, within a couple weeks after that, they had proclamations all over, every big building that women between--I don't remember, fifteen or sixteen or eighteen up to forty-five have to report to work with a backpack and enough--one uh, change of clothing to report on this, I think it was a football field. Knowing this I made friends in this factory with a clerk in the office and he said to me, "You'll stay here. You'll, you'll have dorms and you stay here. You're not going to go to that because that doesn't sound very good. Here you are safe." At this time my mother--my grandmother I couldn't do anything about--but my mother I wanted to be there too. So he wrote out an order uh, like it came from a, a higher, whoever was in charge of these labor ca...labor battalions, what they made out of them really and came into the house--I was already out at this factory--and came to the house and, and started yelling, which was a put up job. That why isn't, why didn't Elizabeth Lauffer come to work, she should have been at work and I'll take her now and my mother understood what it was all about and he just took her and brought her out to the factory grounds. So we were there for about, I don't know, three, four weeks. I-- times I don't remember. Months, it could have been two months, I don't know. Then there was a change in government. I'm trying to remember the name. You probably know. There was an easing up in...


And somebody else with an L. Laklas or Lakatas or... I can't remember. They took over the government for a very short period and everything eased up. And everybody felt like a big relief and we--he told us you don't have to stay in the factory now, go back to the yellow st...you know, to the house that you stayed in, in the yellow star. And no...it looks like nothing is going to happen. And we did and we came back there and stayed at my grandmother's place. And we were still restricted to be out between just two hours a day or something, but we were able to buy food and, and live a quite a normal life, in my particular case because we were only two to this room. I mean, there were some there, they were six or eight or ten in a room. So it wasn't so wonderful and you have to share one kitchen between whatever, how many families lived in this house.

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