Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Jack Weinberger - February 6, 1983

After the Camps

Maybe ??? one place knock on the door, was a sign, "doctor" so and so, was his home. And the lady opened up the office and said, "oh you guys, I know who you are." Because we still had the German uh, uniforms she could tell uh, we not Czech. Come on in, come on in, she introduced us to her husband, the doctor. And there was a big picture of Stalin on the, on the, on the, on the wall, I remember it. But I didn't know who the pic...I never knew who Stalin is, or Roosevelt. I just knew who's the president of, but to me there was no difference who it is, I didn't care. She showed me the picture, yeah she told us sit down. She get for us candy and warm milk. She said, "you know who the picture is?" I says, "no, I don't know," I really didn't even know. I know it's not Hitler because of the war I would know it was Hitler. And it was still in Pilsen on the American side, I says , "ah, that's Joseph Stalin," I remember. You know, she asked us information you know, are we going home, Czechoslovakia, that's another part of Czechoslovakia, over there, the Russian side. She said, "don't forget you have to get with Communists too." Because I didn't care to me, didn't bother me that she took up, she gave me fifty dol...uh, fifty uh, Czech Kroner and she gave the other guy just like fifty dollars. I said, "I don't need that," you know, I didn't care I guess, I don't need no money, what am I gonna do with the money, to me moneys nothing, just need bread. She said, "keep it, keep it, keep it, you're gonna need it when you go." See the Czech people and the Italian people really are nice people in general.


When I came, then we had--put us on a train, we went to Prague, to Czechoslovakia. Right on the station, right on the station there they set up k... uh, kitchens, waiting for us. They had already like plates, everybody took a plate. They gave us warm soup then we continued our journey to go home. Then when I got home there was a place by the name Chust it's around sixty uh, sixty, sixty kilometers, about forty miles, just like from here to Toledo. There was no transportation to go home, to my hometown because it was bombed. Course, I do remember when they took us into the ghettos they built on the highways, on every highway they built uh, holes, big holes and put in dynamites there. To bomb, they did bomb it but the Hun... before they retreated, the Hungarians, they bombed everything. So, one guy, he's in Israel now and an older man, uh, I call him older but at that time he was forty years old, so I call him old. So we had to walk home to my hometown and we started in the morning, in the morning, early in the morning. It was, it was already in June, was warm. We had to walk to my hometown, it took us a whole day. We took our shoes off, we had, we wanted to spare the shoes, we didn't want to use up the shoes, so we had to walk without shoes. We put our shoes on our back and we walked, so on the way we stopped at a few places to ask, you know, can we get some uh, to eat. We had no help from nobody, our own population, didn't help us none. Here the Czech people helped us, strange people. Here our own people won't help us. Finally I came to my hometown. First thing I did was I walked into that uh, lady I mentioned um, her husband was a police man, a Czech police man. She was very happy to see me, she cried, she asked me, "where's your family? Where's the rest of the family?" I told her, listen the rest of the family ???. She gave us, to eat and uh, and uh, and she asked me, "what is your future, what do you think you're gonna do?" I said, "the only future I would like to do is go to Israel, there's no future , I've got nowhere to live here." She said, "why don't you settle down here," I mean, she was very nice about it. She said, "I have a nice daughter," she did have a beautiful daughter. She said uh, you can uh, she spoke of beautiful Jewish daughter too because she was raised almost like Jewish. Or if not you can mar, marry--and I didn't even think about marriage that time, didn't really think about it myself. She said, "or you can meet someone else, a Jewish girl ??? again. Settle down you'll get a house here." So I left there, because I stayed a few days around town. And because uh, ??? like right across the street, right across the street from us was, was also, it was also like a big place. So, from the church on Sunday morning, I don't remember how many people, the guy came out from church, there's a get together. Got two churches in our place, place had one Catholic that's ???. The second one is ???, I don't know if you know what it is. ???, that's uh--I think it's uh, one, one is Catholic and what is the other...

Um, Protest--Protestant.

Protestant, I would say. Uh, so, so after the church they all came out, so they had a get together. As I was walking out from the house, from that lady, and I had a good pair, of boots, I had a German uniform, a German uh, military boots. And I still had the uniform from uh, like a German uniform after the war. She said, uh, and, and I remember cause of those--that, that gave me already gave me an idea of what to do. They tell me, "you still survived I'm surprised they didn't kill you." But if you stick around long enough, I mean, they're looking at me, just like head down, if you stick around long enough, they were looking at my shoes, my clothes. If you stick around long enough and at night if I need your receipt, you're not gonna survive because you, your boots are gonna be killed, just like that. Our own people. So I mentioned that to the lady, she said, "you know something those people really mean it, they are just evil." Then I'm not gonna live here, they're animals. You had to be very careful not to go out at night. But I couldn't stay long, I only stayed two, three days then I had to go back to Chust used to call Chust, I had to walk back. And from there we start--we went to Hungary, Budapest, and from Budapest we started going our way to Israel. But we couldn't go to Israel we had hard, we had hard problem. By the way, do you smoke?

No, uh-uh.

Can I offer you a coffee? I actually caught my wife...

That's okay.

Stupid of me, dumb of me. My wife put up the coffee, I have one , but you have one too?

I'll have one, thank you.

My wife said, well she put up coffee here. Like sugar and cream?

No, just plain.

Just, just plain. Oh, oh, well, stupid me I shouldn't and ???.

[interruption in interview] Me and she are animals, not those.


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