Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Baruch Spergel - February 4, 2008

Befriending Germans

ZF: We have uh, this is uh, this may be an interesting story. Has nothing to do-my son was in the university and my daughter, too, in Jerusalem and one day we get a te...te...telephone call that somebody would be arriving from Germany. This is a young girl-a German girl. She was at the time about the age as my son, about 20 or something like that. I don't remember exactly. She was studying at the university and um, she was studying about um, her thesis was history. It was uh, about uh, I've forgotten the name now-one-a town in, in Germany. I've forgotten which town ??? not ??? um, I'll come back. I forget things. And um, she-when she started studying this town the, the, the-she uh, found out for the first time there was a large Jewish community there.

Was it her town?

ZF: What?

Was it her town?

ZF: No, no it wasn't, wasn't her town, wasn't her town. There was a Je...uh, large Jewish community there and she wanted to meet survivors, you know, to find out what really happened there. And um, ???

BS: ???

ZF: ??? was one of these cities that, uh...

BS: Russian city, yeah?

ZF: ...or it was something that, you know, it sat in a place which was very good for business for, for mer...uh, mercantile town, you know, by water and the Jews were very active in this. Anyway, she wanted to come to Palestine and when she heard part of what happened to the Jews there she was very much afraid to come. She said, "How can I come there? How can I talk to these people? How-they'll, they'll, they'll want to kill me," you know, something like that. So, at the university was a, was a boy from uh, a friend of Iddo's-of my, of my son who was studying there as well who told her, "You don't have to be afraid. I'll give you the address of uh, of somebody I know and he'll, he'll, he'll take care of you and he will help you." And she, she rang up and he picked her up from the airport and she came to Jerusalem and eventually she-in the weekend the children came home to Haifa-to us, they brought her along and she is now my adopted daughter. I mean, not only she is my adopted daughter but it's her whole clan again. It is her parents and her sisters and their friends and they've all been here. And I had had them for Seder and one of them is, is a pastor so we-he read in Hebrew-he knew a few words of Hebrew and he had a translation to German of the Hagadah of Pesach and so forth. And, and it was very interesting to see how-they hadn't taught them anything at that time. She learned at the university. Only then did she-oh, there were a few criminals, you know, I think-something like that at that period.


ZF: Now she's much older and I think that things, things have changed. Today she runs in-she works in Hamburg in um, history of uh, Holocaust survivors and things like that in the Jewish community. She's not Jewish, she's uh, so, it has changed. I think that has changed.

Well, I...

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