Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Weiss - October 7, 1994


You said you prayed to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob?

Yes. And I do today.

Do you think they answered you, uh?

Well again, that's a question. That's a question. That's a question. That's a question. That's a question. The only thing I can say they did not answer it to the six million. They did not. I can say that. And the...they did not answer it to those children. And this is a question, this is a question that really--what I couldn't answer.

But it never shook your faith?

There are so many answers to this. I can, I can give you so many answers. But I can tell you as I said, "Ani ma'amin be-emunah shelemah." But I have many questions. I have many questions. You are talking about faith, professor. Well, my faith the first time was really shooked up. And how big my faith was. My rabbi...we was in Beregszász in the ghetto. And uh, a German came in. He pulled down two pails outside the door. We were in barracks in ghetto. He put two pails outside the door. He says in this I want all your money. In this I want all your gold. People started to take a lot. Then, another German came in. He says, "Whoever refuses--I will find any. I shoot 'em right here." More gold then. But the rabbi's gabbai went to the Germans and says, "We have here a watch. It's a cheap one, not gold or anything. Could we keep this please, so the rabbi knows what time it is, when Shabbos is, when to pray Mincha and so forth." He said yes. Another German comes in and the watch was on the table. And he seen the watch. "What's this?" So they try to explain it to him. They ask out the rabbi. They took the rabbi out. He came out with a big uh, um what do you call 'em with a horse's bit? With the big bit and he picked his hand up to hit the rabbi. Now my faith, the way I was brought up, the way my rabbi taught me, that when he picked his hand up, he won't be able to lower it on that rabbi. On that holy man. On that man who is in life, all what he did. He learned Torah. He was God-fearing. And, and I was sure, and I was sure that he wouldn't be able to bring his hand down and to hit. He did. That was the first time my faith somehow... boy--how, how could that be? That was my first time. [pause]

Let me uh, take you back 1938, '39, '40, you were living with your grandparents then?

Yes. With my parents and grandparents.

With your parents and grandparents. And you said your grandfather died in 1941?


What were the circumstances of that?

Well he was sick. He was an old man. And I'm sure the medical knowledge and the opportunities--you see, that money and things uh, you could bring in doctors, you could take them to the hospital. In my hometown we did not have a hospital.

Your father was gone at this point?

My father was it in labor, yeah.

So he died uh, befo...d...d, he died before the Germans.

Before the Germans.

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