Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - August 9, 1995


Was it too big, too small?

Ah, mine was too big...the sleeves and I could hardly walk in it and so forth and the shoes were small. And I had it in my hand and walking towards the barrack, wherever they told me to walks a man calls to me, "Leibisch." I looked, I didn't recognize the man. I knew him all my life but he had a beard, he had a black coat and a black hat. And then I recognized them and I asked the man, "What is this?" Then I told him I smelled something here funny and he says, "You see those ovens? That's there where they burn people." [whispers] Its what he...yes. "That's there were they burn people, your parents might be there. My family might be there." And he started and, and....yeah.

Do you remember his name?

David Klein, David Klein. A red beard, he had. And I did find two of...two of his daughters who survived and I told them about it.

He did not survive? He did not survive, no.

What went through your mind when he told you this?

Oh the man is not in his mind or, or, or, or, or I just couldn't, ah, ah, ah, digest it I couldn't accept it. My brains wouldn't take something like that. [louder] What do you mean, you never heard of nothing like that. What you mean, you, you, eh, they burn there or that's the smell I feel. I, I ah, the mind, even today. If you think for a minute, one person, a hundred person, a thousand person, it's a lot of people. Here we are talking really about something, something, six million, six million we are talking here. And if anybody can accept this in the world, but live with that or, or explain it. It's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's mind boggling. If sometime a tragedy happens, a hundred people, even one child, one child, somebody kills a child, it's, it's, it's a big thing and it should be a big thing, but when you take from a small people a million, a million and a half children and you just kill them because their parents were Jews, that's the only thing they did. [pause] And today, today, today you have many schools, even colleges, where they tell you, the professor tells you, that, that this thing didn't happen. Actually everything is recorded, everything is recorded. Gen...you ask General Eisenhower, where he was, what he seen. You ask any of the brave American soldiers who we survivors are thankful to them, are thankful to them for liberating us. And you ask them what they seen. How could anybody today believe that that didn't happen? [pause; sighs]

Let me take you back for a second to, uh, were you looking for your father there?

Well, when we stood in line, when we stood in line, in Auschwitz, to go to Buchenwald, in four line in front of me, I see somebody who I know. He's my father. I didn't know, he was in another barrack in Auschwitz and they gathered us together with my father. So, we went to Buchenwald together from Auschwitz.

How long in Auschwitz?

In Auschwitz we were one week. And that was the time when they were really in a hurry to get the Jews out of Hungary and day and night the trains were coming into Auschwitz.

Is this summer?

This was in, yes, it was spring, May, May, May, the end of May already, yes, May. And there were many, many thousand. They got uh, from Hungary and surrounding Czechoslovakia and then Romania, what it belonged to Hungary, they got 800,000 Jews out of there and they got it in a very fast time. So, Auschwitz got filled up, so they took us to Buchenwald and we stayed two weeks in Buchenwald.

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