Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - October 7, 1994

Returning Home

What did you want to do at this point? Did you want to go home? Did you want to...

Home? Home, home, home, home. I was sure my father and mother, I mean I still didn't bought what I heard in Buchenwald. That this, this transports who came in from Zeitz to Buchenwald, that none of them is alive. I remember in Munich, when I was coming to this country, I went into the--I seen--there was a name list who's coming. And I went into uh, the office. I seen the name. Weiss, ???. That was my father's name. With excitement. Who is it? Uh, they said he's a young man. This isn't the place really for to look for those people. That's what she answer me, but you know, I figure many times how old during the years, how old my father would be today. I see, I see people, they tell me they are ninety something. Somehow I cannot ??? or if somebody tells me--eh, a middle-aged man--"I'm going to my mother's." It's a big word I couldn't even put a ??? It's not that jealousy or whatnot. You know, you look, you look in a mirror uh, uh, my mother was forty-three years old in '44. Forty-three. She would be today ninety-three. Fifty years yet. And one thing I'm--and I've told it many times, you see my wife is survivor too. She survived with her sister. Together they were from day one, together. Imagine. Everybody ??? I uh, worked very hard all my life. And I would say many times to my wife, how nice it would be to have my parents. Just tell them one thing, "Don't worry about matzo, we all have enough matzo. Don't worry about eggs, we do have a lot eggs. You can have as much." Because I was the only one I think many times we were eating and they put aside and I finished they gave me their portion. So that could be a big thing if I could do that.

Do you think there was anything you did that helped you to survive when you were in, in camp?



What helped me to survive, I was young, I was healthy, because that's the only people who survived, is the young and the healthy. And if the, if the, let's say this older man wouldn't be there, I would not be here today. And if the concentration and if I wouldn't be liberated in the next month, I wouldn't be here today. So this thing helped me survive. Yes. And another thing really. I wanted to see my mother. I wanted to see my friends. I mean by us, by us, and as you can see today really if a Jew gets killed in Israel or anyplace, it hurts. And these are people whom I know and so forth, so on and so forth. I want to see my rabbi. That was a big thing for me. That's a big thing today. I keep--I have a picture uh, my wife had a--we have a small picture, I have a picture there, a Yeshiva picture, uh, uh, uh, uh, and there is in New York a Yeshiva. It's called Kascony. What to me that's very dear. And if I find, if I find some boys, I go to Israel, I look them up whom I grew up with. I uh, if I find somebody who I went to the Yeshiva with and that's--I want to, I wanted to be alive to see them again. That was a very big factor... I think in most of the survivors, it was a very big factor.

So you went back, you said you went back to, to Kascony.


Immediately? As soon as you could?

Immediately. As soon as I could, yes.

And what were your reactions when you got there?


Anyone there?

Reality started to sink in. The house we lived in I was never inside. There lived a, a Russian family. They brought 'em in from Russia. They didn't let me in. And, as I said, the Goyim didn't have any sympathy for nobody. I had to go to a very--was a very good friend. You know we just talking about Kascony. When they took us to the ghettos I mean when we were loaded on those horse-pulled wagons, that was a holiday then. The Goyim there--nobody worked. You never seen so many people. I didn't know that in Kascony there were so many people with, with smiling faces. I never knew they can smile like that.

Then you were taken away.

When we were taken away. It was a holiday there. And they were saying, "I'm gonna move into that house. I'm moving to that house." So there was no sympathy or nothing before, during, or after. I never was back since then. But many people go back. And but when it--in my hometown there is no Jew. So there are many people who grew up never seeing a Jew. But they know how to hate the Jew.

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