Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Dorfman - August 11 & 25, 1989

Religious Beliefs

Did that continue during the war, did you--let me ask you this--excuse me--did you, did you continue to believe in God at all?

Let me tell you--I can't even come back to it, I don't, I don't think--I didn't. I, I, I really eh, didn't. My father davened everyday. He had t'fillin on and everything else.

He did? Right through the war?

I didn't. I just was so bitter and I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to look at a book, I didn't want to look at, at any...at anything. I was just walking around like I don't know. I remember one thing. I, I just didn't care for nothin'.

Did you talk to your father about it?

Yeah, I talked to him, we discussed things and so forth and so on. But, I was very bitter. I just, I just couldn't bear--just I don't know. I don't know, I didn't go crazy, I don't know. 'Cause you lived like an animal. ...didn't know.

Now, the Russians--you had had heard that the Russians were coming.


Did you hear artillery, is that how it...

Oh yes, we watched, when, when they were coming we were hearing shootings for two, three days. Artillery uh, airplanes, I mean, a war.

So what did, what did you do? What did you decide to do with it?

So we did, what we decided to do? My father did, I didn't, I mean, he says, we have--then the Germans we saw were already running away from the, from the Vistula. You know, the Russians were on the other side, they were on this side, but they were packing up because they were, those Russians were, were bombarding, it was unbelievable. I mean, the katyushas, you know, that this was the war, everything was burning. That's all you saw is smoke for miles. And, and, and you were--saw the Germans because where we were was right the road, on the road. We were seeing the German tanks and wagons going west. And then they came out uh, eh, then there was uh, uh, [pause] the governor, I mean, not the governor, I mean, whoever was in that area, you know, I mean uh, I would say the uh, the mayor, whoever, said everybody ten kilometers away from the, away from the Vistula has to move. So where we lived, we were right next to it, we had to go. How do you go, where do you go? Maybe somebody's gonna recognize you. So what we did, our, our, our ??? I mean, our people that we were, they, they, everybody had to go. Ten kilometers had to be completely clean from civilians. So we had cattle, so we, we had four cattles, so w...it--I, I took a cow, you know. I was dressed like, like a Pole anyway, they wouldn't--if, if a friend of mine wouldn't recognize me, the Germans would not, for sure not. There's no way. And there were pe...people by the hundreds uh, you know, going away from the ??? west with the Germans. My father say's--the only way, we had the other people--they said no, we should stay right there. And there were, there were four of 'em got killed because they stayed there.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn