Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Josef Slaim - February 7, 1982


May I ask you something, does this happen anymore? Does that interfere with your life today? Does it get in your way?

Well, health-wise, yes.

Health wise? Explain?

What can I explain? You know, like I remember when the doctor said the people might make it one day. And then when I got held here and just happened one time I got sick and I got to the hospital. I talked to the main head doctor. I heard when he talked there, a consultation mit the other doctors. He said, "Nobody from these people will live more than ten years, the most of them." All these written things to this pictures, I, I did it. Uh, as we coming back to Czenstochow like this one. I got just mark down what this is on the back. That's a mass grave, you know. I just keep this because I have to put this um, everything is with the picture on the back. This is Jews and like I mentioned it before, they got this on the Bloody Monday.

Yes, I see that.

This is here written down.

What do you, what do you duplicate this? It's not--what is that machine what you duplicate the pictures?

I just go around a printing machine and make picture like this one. Then I got this one. Now I have to bring up this one. On the other side so you can see the writing. What they say here. They say this in Jewish, you know, what they say here. This Bild, means this picture, is--shows where they uh, taking the people mit the hand on their uh, head to get, to get killed--to get shot. I got this from the place where I was in Czenstochow.

So you're gonna put together this--all this in the form of a book?

Yes. Pictures what I took. Pictures what I could get. And I make this for my kids.

It's just for your kids, you're not gonna have it published or anything?

I don't think so I get it published, because uh, to publish uh, has to be a lot work more done because I got many things in my book the accent is not clear ??? you know.

Sure, I understand.

The crematoriums. Maybe if they want to do it...

So you feel pretty uh, free about talking about what happened during the war?

Yes. They got furnace, crematorium, furnace, gas chambers. [long pause]

That's quite a book you're preparing for.


That's quite a book, Mr. Slaim.

I got a couple hundred pages. Even...

How did you, how did you have your name changed?

I uh, changed y name when I uh, got the pa...citizens papers. Why I changed? I was in the business when I was here--six months I was already on business. Of course, a lousy business, but I was in business. I uh, it wasn't my blood I couldn't say in some place work. Maybe that's why I was in my business here.

What was your name in, in Polish?

Slaimkowich. It was like Slaim I just cut off the --kowich. ??? That's even the trial in Nuremburg, the Nuremburg Trial.

I see that.


Are you a citizen now in the United States?

Of course!


After, after thirty years.

All right.

Well that's, that's ??? you know. Well, here, I don't know if you saw this some place or not. ??? I made a lots of copies. ??? lots of copies for this.

I see you spent a lot of time preparing this.


Your grandchildren will profit from this.


Your grandchildren will profit from this. They'll know you very well from this.

You know these papers. That's the story.

That's it.


I wanna thank you very much. I appreciate the time.

You're welcome. Was nice to talk to you and tell you a little bit about mein uh, tsuris. Mein troubles, mein troubles.

If there is anything--anytime you remember anything you'd like to talk about again--that you remember. Some time I'd like to come back fill in some of these stories.

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