Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - August 9, 1995

Kaddish for Family

You told me once that you ah...you didn't sit shiva for your parents and you didn't say Kaddish for your parents.

Well, well, yes, we didn't have that chance. We didn't have a chance and that's why we are having Yizkor services each year. Between Pesach and Shevuoth, in order because that was the time they started to take us, right after Pesach and they finished after Shevuoth They cleared up whole Carpatha Rus by Shevuoth. And we do hold a, ah a, public Yizkor.

When was the first time you said Kaddish for your parents?

The first time I said Kaddish, I settled in Budapest ah, ah, in `44, ah, ah, Shabbos, the first time I got there, I went to Shul and that was the Kascony Shul. Ah, ah, that was also the Orthodox Shul before the war.

In 1944 you said?

Before...but after the war, after the war, when I got to Budapest. And there was other things too really. Because for example, to pray, we did pray, when we were standing in Appell, let that be in Buchenwald, let that be in uh, Zeitz, ah, ah, we formed a Minyan and we davened right there till we waited and so forth. Not loud and things. But we believed, we asked God, we knew, we hoped, and we knew that the only people who can help us is God. [pause; crying]

When you were liberated did everybody daven then too or pray then too?

Well, at that time, at that time, right away, I was there about ten days and I didn't...I, I was in my bunk and uh, I really don't know what happened. Ah, I don't know, I really don't know what happened and things. I must have been more sick than I thought and ah, when they told me that I, uh, I have a chance to go to America from there or to go home to my city, I chose, I believed with my full heart that my father and, and my mother, because she was young, I mean...forty-three, she was young looking uh, and, and, and I didn't dreamt that this, and this was after liberation yet, I didn't believed, I didn't knew it even. I knew something but, to my mother somehow a young person, this couldn't happen and I did, I did heard that my father when he arrived to Buchenwald, he did went to the gas chamber. Somehow I didn't wanted to believe that either, somehow I had a hope.

Who told you that?

Oh there was again, you see, you see, Beregszasz and things you had there, many of these peoples ah, ah, whom I grew up or whom I knew or, or, you could talk to people, who was there a whole time in Buchenwald.

And was there a gas chamber in Buchenwald?

Yes, a crematory, the details really, I, a crematoria where they burned uh, people.

There was a crematorium, yeah.

Because I know. And I'm sure this can be ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, this soldiers who liberated Buchenwald, they seen that persons, that people there, because they couldn't put them in the crematorium then and so forth. They seen them on the streets. So this is uh, everybody knows that, everybody should know that. Everybody should see that! Everybody should think about this!

So at what point did you give up hoping that your parents were going to be...

Well, for many years, really my mother, I did, I did gave up when I got home and this lady told me. Because she was very close friend with my mother and she was younger and ah, that I, that, that somehow...But to sink really in, it takes time to sink again and I think I repeated that, that people could do that. It, it, it takes time. It's, it's not just like that, okay, it happened, then it took, it takes time and yeah.

Do you dream about them?

Oh, I dream, I have many, many nightmares. I am many times home and we are at the Shabbos table. I am in the yeshiva. I see my Rabbi, I talk to my Rabbi and...I did talk about my Bobe whom I love very much, she loved me. That, and this happened a couple weeks ago, I did, I was on the street and I somehow I said I have to see my Bobe and I opened the door and I went in to see her. She was in a room, that room was bright, shiny, white and two young ladies, must have been angels, they, they did took care of her, she looked at me, she looked young, [pause] we didn't talk but, after I woke up, I'm sure today that was the Gan Eden.

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