Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Larry Wayne - 2005


From Buchenwald.

From Buchenwald.

You weren't in the same barrack.

No, no, no. But I talked with ??? at the time, because there was a few times in uh, Detroit, you know. When he came in I talked to him a few times. I saw and I talked to him when he, when I was in Washington, I had a chance to say hello to him.

Tell me about Buchenwald. What was that like?

I, I really can't tell you an awful lot because I wasn't there long enough, and the time that I was over there I didn't do anything. Just stayed in the, stayed in the bunks and waiting to die. I really cannot tell you an awful lot about it.

Did you think you were waiting to die?


You actually thought that. And when they...

I didn't know what to do. You know, waiting for Amer...waiting, waiting, meantime nothing was coming.

And then...

Although the will to live was so strong that, you know, no matter what, you still tried to save yourself. So when they, when they started saying, you know at that time they didn't know who was a Jew, who wasn't a Jew. So when they say all the Juden straight up, straight out, you know, all the, all the Jews step out, you know, I never stepped out. They didn't know I was Jewish or not Jewish. At that time we didn't have any more numbers or whatever else, the yellow.

So you came to... Have you been back to Buchenwald ever?

Never went back to Poland. I, I want to, my wife doesn't want to go. My sister went, my brother went. I was sixty kilometers from Buchenwald.

And you wouldn't go.

In 1988, my and my brother got called in to testify in a war criminal case in Hanover, Germany. And I really didn't want to go because I swore I never going to go back to Europe, as a matter of fact, Germany. But then, you know, uh, the rabbi heard about it, you know, you gotta go, you gotta go and testify, you know. I absolve you from your oath to yourself, you know. And uh, so me and my brother, we made like a vacation out of it. My brother and his wife, Johanna, and myself and my wife went over to Frankfurt. Rent a car. And the German, the Germans paid for everything. And, uh...

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