Zigi Shipper: "Surviving the Holocaust" | Talks at Google
It's. Been really an honor and a pleasure to, come to new, people to, tell, you my story, it's. Very simple, you know I just tell you what happened to me as a child. Unfortunately. Now Holocaust, survivors, when we arrived, to. Britain. Between. 1945. Between. 1945. And 1947. We. Never talked about it you know because there are so many reasons and, some, of them like who's, going to believe us, you. Know maybe tell them about babies, being killed and things like that. So. Unfortunately it, was a mistake, we should have started earlier but, eventually. About, over, 30 years ago I started. Speaking, about it. So. I would like to tell you what happened to me as, a child and, I go back to when. I was about three years old, it's. Funny I don't remember what I had for breakfast, but I remember. What's happened so far ago. So. You. Know unfortunately, my. Parents. Got, divorced and. My mother left us I didn't. Know where she went to work every. She. Disappeared. And. I was brought, up by my. Grandparents. A very Orthodox Jewish, people, I. Was. Born in Poland in. A city called would, Lodge. It. Was the second-largest city, in Poland it was it isn't anymore you'll find out later. Why. It, isn't, anyway. But. I had a very good life to begin with when do, you know when growing up. Goat. Went to school had, enough we left and now we. Had a lovely apartment. I've, even had my own bed. My own bedroom can. You imagine in the early thirties. In Poland, especially, for. A child to have his own bedroom it was unheard of people. Wouldn't believe it even my daughters. Wouldn't believe it till. I took him there, anyway. But. I had a very good life till, I was about nine years old my, father. Worked for. His. Father he, had, business. His own business and. My. Uncle worked in it everything, was all right you know then, I went to school like every child went. Well. Till, everything. Was going on well till 1939. From. The British. Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, sent. An ultimatum to. Hitler after. Talking to him many. Times. And. He said if you, attack, Poland. You'll. Be at war with us by. That time half of Poland was already occupied, by. German. Troops on the set of. September. 1939. Britain. And France declared war on Germany, within, six weeks the whole of. But. Poland. Was occupied, by, German. Troops. Everything. Changed. First. Of all no, Jewish, child, was allowed to go, to school. Didn't. Matter, whether. It was a Jewish school or a nun Jewish he wasn't allowed teachers. Weren't, allowed to teach. Doctors. Lawyers accountants. Women allowed to practice their own profession. And. Every morning you know. We. Got up they were. Honored. On the wall there were different, things written, out what, will allow to what, will not allowed to like, you not allowed to travel, on, public transport, we had Trump's in our city if. They caught a Jewish person, especially a man, that we recognized, the way he was dressed and, so on, at. The beach they, slung him off. Irrespective. Whether that, the. Tram was moving. Or it was. Stationary. They just didn't know and, all things like that, but, the worst things most. Of us you, know were, frightened, to go out, but. We had to there. Was a ready very, little food because. The. Polish. Farmers. Were frightened, to come in but. Eventually they did. So. You. Know they they met a Jewish man walking. In the street and a, few soldiers just, for fun, they. Saw he was Jewish with his beard they. Cut his beard up and then. If there were near assault they used to go and get a bucket of water made, him wash the payment, for no reason, just as, new millennium. Anyways. Was carrying on like that till November. 1939. Then. They. We. Got to know because I was a Jewish group that were running us and. They. Some. Fishes came to them and they said every. Jew living in woods will have to go to a designated area which was to, put a study out of town, they. Said that Polish. People will move out so. That make moral.
Room. But. To. Make to live a proper. Living. In, the place they asked, us was. A room enough, for twenty thousand, people and, the city, of load of woods. At. Two. Hundred and sixty-five. Thousand. Jews living there can you imagine this is almost the same amount that Britain. Has got today and this is one city. Anyway. They. Said there's no choice, by. April, the 1st. 1940. Every Jew has to be inside. If. Anybody, cold outside will, be shocked so my. Grandfather my, grandmother and I, because. My father run away and, he managed to get into Russia. So. We. Took a few. Cases whatever, we could carry and. We went to a place just one, solitary. Room. There. Was no running water that, meant there was no toilets, there was nothing, there. Was no choice and they, told us we are lucky because we're only three people. Anyway. Went. Him, by. April, the 1st it, was completely, surrounded. By barbed, wire you. Couldn't get in you couldn't get out and everybody. Inside. Was. Jewish, not polish, not even German, everything. Was done by, the. Jewish, people. There. Was even Jewish police. So. When. We came in they told us, after, a while, everybody's. Got to go to work if you don't go to work he won't get any. Food. So. My, grandmother got him working for tailoring, they were producing, stuff for the, German. Army there and I got a job in the Metro Factory, they were also producing, I didn't even know what it was but, it was stopped for their armies. My. Grandfather, unfortunately. They. Couldn't get a job because he was getting ill and within a very short time he died because he had very little that. Wasn't allowed to, eat for. Jewish people that, there were very religious. Anyway. It was left my grandma. And I I worked. Six, days a week from 7:00 in the morning, 7:00 and evening lunch. Dammit I used to get too soon we. Used to get a soup so. It. Was like, water with a few vegetable swimming around if. The person, that was giving out the soap like, sure maybe he knew you he. Dug a bit deeper and it, was even a piece of meat so. Every, time I, say. That especially in young schools, with young students. And. They said to me how could you eat meat, horse. Meat I, said. We would have eaten anything, we. Were eating dogs and cats as well if. You are starving, and I hope you'll never find out what starvation. Is I, always. Say that to students. But. Never never say to your mum, and dad I'm, starving, when you come back because. Starving. Is. A completely, different thing and thank God we don't stop here, anyway. It. Was carrying on like that and of course. People. Are dying. From. Starvation. From. Medic, they didn't have enough medications. And a lot of them were committing. Suicide, especially. Women and I, could never understand. It and I kept. On saying to my mother. My, grandmother said. Why, do they kill themselves. And. She, would Lance Emmy I found, out myself. Can you imagine after. A while can. You imagine. The, mother losing, a child. To, three, or even more children, from starvation. Over. Not a lack of food. Anyway. It. Carried, on like that and one day some of his sister came to the people that. Were on eat they get on they said they need 70,000. People to go to work in Germany, they, asked the Jewish police to supply them they couldn't do it so. They. The. German, officer, said there's no problem nobody's going to go to work, for. A whole week we go from three. To three out the house and get the people we want they. Said, they. Said to us the Jewish people the police or whoever they were they, said, we let you know a night before when they're coming. For. Next day so, said all right when. The time came my grandmother, says she's going into hiding, would, I go with her I said whatever I need to go with you and ten years old already. But. Her. Or 12 years old sorry 12, years old. They. Won't need, me I look about ten nine years old they. Need grownups that can produce more, stuff when they take them to Germany, so she says all right because, she's going into hiding so she went to the hiding I went. I. Stayed. Went. To sleep got up in the morning they, told us to go downstairs big. Lorries were, there and they, started, taking people, and. They. Took me as well. And. You know all through my life I was always lucky and. This. Time I realized how lucky I was, anyway. When I look to was there there was babies. Children. Young. Young. Kids. Disabled. People and. I see when. I talk to them, and I jumped off that, lorry, and where, my luck was first. Of all the lorry, wasn't moving it and secondly. The. Guards, were in the yard because it was he went through a yard. And all, through different, houses and, they, were there still taking, people. Anywhere, I ran and I ran and eventually, I hid myself. Instead. Stayed. There for. Quite a. Long. Time. Eventually. Came. The morning or night I didn't, know when I, had, the went back home my.
Eventually. My grandmother, came and after, a few days we had to go back to work we, don't know how many people, they took whether there were 70,000. Or 60,000. All. I can tell you not, one of us had anything, from, them. Not. A letter not nothing, nothing. We didn't hear a thing. Anyway. We. Left when. We stayed, there and stay that worked, and more people were dying and dying so, one day I said to my grandmother that so many people are taking away so. Many people have died why. Can't we. Get that somewhere. Else to to, live at least we'll get the running order she, said there isn't would. Get or was the longest-lasting. Get, out started, April 1940. Finished in the summer of, 1944. And, they, were bringing in people from all over Europe even, from Germany, Jewish people, so, there was never any room so. It was carrying on like that and most of us, most. People were dying and. In dying and people. Ask me today how did you survive I wish. I could tell you but I don't. You. Know anyway, it was carrying on like that and then one day in the summer of 1944. Some. Officers, came and said to the people that were running together. We. Got to close the ghetto because the Russians already, near war so it took him about the day or two to cross the Vistula River and. They'll. Be here, but, they told us the people that working in the metal factory can. Go as a group. To. Germany, to work so. I said to my grandmother I said, I rather go with the group that I know the people that I. Work with. So. She said she'll come with me, they told us, we. Only allowed to take one suitcase, each, because, where we are going there everything, is a hundred, times better we. Will have food, and drinks, and where. To stuff, to wear everything. So. They said - so. My, grandmother said she'll come with me so. We took two suitcases one. Suitcase, each that what was here will be allowed to he went to the factory and, they, said they'd let us know when to report, to. The railway station. So. After, a few days they told us tomorrow morning you'll. Report to the railway station, we. Took our cases, in the morning and went to the railway station the best, thing I said to my grandmother. I. Can't. See. Any trains. She. Said there standing, in front of you I said that cattle tracks or whatever it they were called. She. Says they, can't before, I said it they can't be for our for, us. But. She. Said it looks like it they up those those. Of those trucks, and. They. Took us in there, was no, way, we could sit, down if, you sat down somebody. Was sitting in on. You or stuck or stepped. On you because. There was so packed, the. German guards had. Problems, to close those doors. Anyway. When. They close those doors and. I, was. Standing or, sitting I don't know what I was doing. But. As I recently. Told. People, about it my two daughters I spoke up I was telling, my two daughters. About. This just, thought that train I said. You know and something has been on my mind on, my brain and I can't get rid of it they, said what did you do did you do something bad I said, I did nothing so what. Happened. How. Can a boy a child, of 14. Hope. People. Should die so he'll, have room where to sit down what. Does become, of me I was. Completely, humanized. All. I want that was to live. Anyway. After. A few days because every morning, they. Used to the. Train stop they, took out that bodies. And. Throw. Him out and. Eventually I had a place where to sit down and. Wherever. I talk about this I feel so, bad you. Know. About anyway. Eventually. One day the. Train stopped. It. Was early, early morning through. The slits, of, the, truck I saw, the word house which I didn't. Have a clue what it was, and the necessarily. Antium shows. I said a friendship, somebody. Shouted out that's only a little, a. Little. Town near. Krakow. Anyway. They. Opened those gates, they told us to leave everything, there. Because everybody's. Going to showers. So. We, had to jump off and people as of, course beaten, because I was slow they couldn't get that they couldn't get down, they. Had problems. Anyway. We were one of the few transport. Arriving, in Auschwitz Birkenau. And. It was miracle because. And, Birkenau, was an extermination. Camp. But. We were one of the few they. Can't. Air places, that. They took us. We. Were the, whole of the lot that were, going on the metal, factory to Germany, they, called out our names so we went to one side but, there were other people on the train. They. Had to go through, a selection so, it's like a big, now, cycle. And. They were running down and, they were showing left, right left right, all, the people that went to the left.
The. Whole people disabled, the people children, women, holding. Babies, the German guards came over to those. Women. Holding, the babies and asked them to put the baby down and, go, to the other side can you imagine a mother doing it she. Wouldn't do it they, tried to rip that baby out if, they didn't succeed by, ripping it out they even shot the baby. And. Sometimes. The woman. Anyway. When it was finished. They. Took him to the showers, that's what they told him they, took him to her room. They, put, those people in the, shuttle, stores a German guard went, to the back of the building there was a little window. He. Opened the windows through some cyclone because. Within. 20. Minutes all those people, in, that room was. Dead. Women. Children babies. Disabled. People. And. You know and I always want, to ask people, to a question. But I don't because, I know I won't get an answer. How. Could a human being do, that. Lunch. A dinner. Time. Knowing. What. He was doing, they during, the day and. Having. To heal his wife and children and having, his dinner and. Listen. To the music. Knowing. What. He was doing, during. The day and I'm, talking, about doctors, lawyers engineers. Not. Some scum and. People. Say to me most. Of the time they said how come they did that. The soldiers, the officers, had families, some of them dead even the. Boss, era. Of. The, father of the groom. The. Officer, he, had his wife and two children ten, meters, away. From. The gas chamber. And. There is some people here today that have been recently, to, Germany, to, Poland. To visit, house weeks. Anyway. When. They were finished with them they took us to the barrack to. To. The showers, we had run the rest when you come out the other side to get your clothes back, they. Saved. Everybody. And. They, put this impact on us and then we to the shower then they gave us not. Our clothes, back, but. I'm sure some of you read. The books of the film the boy in striped pajamas, that's what we got. For. Some reason, we don't up till today we don't know why. They didn't tattoo number of us but. I had a number, eighty. Four thousand three hundred and three and. I can't get rid of that number I wish I could forget it I don't, remember my, debit, card or credit card but, I remember, that number eighty four thousand three hundred and three and. Even, unfortunately. My grandson. Made a film about me. And. He and I never knew and. One day I said too much what's the film is what, is it cold, he. Says eighty four thousand, three hundred and three and. I can't get it out of my mind, anyway. When. They were finished with us they. Took us to barracks, and they said we are very lucky because, there's, room for five hundred people and, we about five hundred something, fifty, because.
We. Are not enough if. It would have been more. People we. Would have slept for five, six, lap-band I don't, know how it would have been possible, but that's what they told us, we. Slept three two about, you. Know there was three bunks one on top of the other and, then, when he got up in the morning in their bed before, that in the evenings they gave us. Something. To eat and I said you'll get it in the evening and you get it for in, the next. Day and leaving nothing for lunch so. It was a piece of bread and some. Black. Coffee, I never. Done coffee in my life and the. Grown-ups, were saying that's not coffee. That's. Well in. The morning we get the same so. We went to sleep in the morning we, woke up and, we were starving. Result we get the piece of. Bread. No. We had to be counted, so. They, started, counting us but there were people missing. But. Nobody. Could escape from, the canal. Because. Birra canal was. Right. Almost, a camp inside, the other right next, to Auschwitz. They. Had electrified. Fences. And guards on top he, could not escape so. When the guards went into the rooms they found the people some were dead and. Some was still alive those, that was still alive they took him out they took him to they they. Said they're taking him to the hospital. We. Found out later there was no such a thing as a hospital, there was one little thing that the. German. Doctor. Was. Committing, crimes. He. Was killing, babies. Slowing. Babies, into ice-cold water. To. See how old that, how long that baby will live when. They operated. On children, and babies if. The, baby was still alive after the operation, when, it got better they took, did. A different, operation, just, playing, with lives. And. He. Was one of the officers, that unfortunately. I just forgot, the name, it'll. Come back to me that survived. Even. After, the war. Dr.. Mengele. She. Unfortunately I. Don't. Remember, things, so, much you. Know that, dr., now. How can a doctor when he swore, to save life to, him to, kill children. Babies. I'll. Never understand. It anyway, when they were finished. They. Gave. Us the, piece of bread and they didn't allow, us to stay in the barracks but it was still, end. Of August, and so on and. We stayed there for a while you. Couldn't stay longer than that they they told us the people told us that were working there then. Sick, then, three. Months either they send you to another camp, or to a labor camp working. Or, they took you to the to. The gas chambers. So. We were we knew we've got problem but, after. A few weeks some. Officers, came and they said they were looking for us anyway they're going to take us to, Germany, to work so.
They Said. They'll take, they. Come. After. A few days so. They. Came after a few days and took us all to. A, another. Camp called, stood HOF that's, near Gdansk. Near dancing. And. There. I had a problem, I never, thought, before that, I was going to die I saw. My friends, dying next, to me but, I never thought I was going to die. Except. This time. Because. Not only the food no food very. Little food. But. The weather it, was already getting, very very cold, and the only way, to keep warm, a. Few, of us. Quite. A few of us made, a rule. During. And. We stayed hot. Cut we. Are holding each other and, eventually, the people from inside came, out so that the other steam gets. Warm I went inside I went outside I didn't have a clue what I was doing anyway. Carried, on like that for a while and then one. Day some officers came of the city there 120, boys to go to whack. On. The. Window. Somewhere, there, I don't know on, the line or, whatever, so. They. Asked for 17, so I couldn't do anything when they said 16 I lived at I lifted, my hand, anyway. They took me as well and up they said they'll pick us up in about, three days time. So, the grown-up says why did you volunteer they're. Going to kill you us that I'm going to die here anyway so. Maybe maybe, the we better they wouldn't have it anyway they came for us they. Took us from passenger, trains us 20, we. Went to a small camp. There. Was only 1,500, people and, we. Worked on a railway line and, there. There was always chance, to steal, well. We were interested, those. Friends. Of mine because of food nothing else. So. We used to steal sometimes, we had so much I couldn't eat my piece of bread so. I went to sleep, without eating. But I couldn't go to sleep because, that piece of bread worried, me I had, to eat that out anyway. One. Day some kid, some young people not the ones that came with me. Stole. Some tobacco that was going for the US, for the Germans, fighting the Russians we are very near, Russian. As well so. They said they. Caught them there was I was, six I don't remember. They. Put him in a room they keep him for six days without. Food, without water when. The time came for them to be locked out they, took us to come to that place and we, found gallows, so we know what's going to and a, German officer sada started, reading out. For. For. Stealing, those. Cigarettes. Or tobacco, whatever. It was. Number. That. All a number. Of. Men, that stole, it. Will. Be hung older. Boy sir jumped, off themselves, they wouldn't give the German but that's what we assume if. The Germans, are satisfaction. That they should do it that they, will do it so, they all jumped.
Off And, that. Is a thing that I cannot forget, you know whenever, I think about, that I talk about that I can say see young man, standing. There alive, and I make two, minutes, later that are dead, anyway. Us, they took back to work and after a while that that said the Russians are coming they, took us to another gam, also. Two stood. Off back again but, only for a local show time then they took us, one. Day they came they, said we go to Germany. Now. We. Will. Go, on, cultures. And, there were nice cultures. Came they, took us to dance. From. Stood. Off the guidance from, there we had to walk. Unfortunately. I was, a deal. But. There was no chance. To. Get anything. But. I couldn't walk my. Friends, helped me to walk because when we came to the Polish port they. Said from thou you'll, have to walk. Every. Concentration. Camp every, extermination. Gap that was liquidated. Went. On a Death March why, was it coated s not very simple. Either. You walked oh you. Were oh you died because. If you fell, they shot you, if. You said you can walk they shot you but I couldn't, walk and I said to my friends. I can't, walk neither. Can you. But. No they said we won't leave you so. We walked we walked and people, has being shocked, all the time you could hear the noise and, my, French will not let me go. Eventually. We. Came. To, a German. Not. To a port but there was near. Near. The water and, we. Had some also. Danish. And Norwegian, prisoners. Of war and. That they are much stronger than us they, didn't. In, the halls they were they. Could. Hardly. They could walk they could do anything you know they could eat and. They said to us we are near. The water we, must be near, a. German. Port. Because. The guards were left, for the night. Anybody. That wants to turn run away and, hide. Yourself, somewhere it's. All thumbs they, said but. There are some buildings, where the people live you can still you can have this you cannot that why. Don't you go so. I said to my friend go they. Wouldn't leave me. Anyway. The. Germans, came, and. Like. I said. My. Friends thought that took, me and they said it's only. 15. Kilometers. That we've got a walk. And. I looked at my friends. 15. Kilometers, it could be 15 centimeters. I couldn't walk and 15, kilometers. It's 10 miles roughly. They. Said you know you'll have to you. Know what will happen I said I know but. I've got to do it they. Said. We. Will not do we will, go. Walk with you so that was the second, time they, walked with me and walked. We walked walked, all. Of a sudden we came to a German. And, there was three enormous, big ships there, and. They. Told us two of the ship's I already. Full, with prisoners. You go and the third one. So. We all thought we know what's going to happen that, take us to the middle of the sea and they are going to explode those boats and. The funny thing was. About. Five. Years ago four, years ago I saw the documentary. Documentary. On Sky television, and it was called Hitler's Titanic, it, was about one of those boats, so. We. Are waiting waiting, all of a sudden. You. Know there, were planes above, us so. We were sure they were British or, American. Or Russian planes. Because. Those soldiers told us, those. Prisoners, that. The was near at the end, they. Couldn't be Germans. And we. Were hoping they'd start, bombing.
And. 111one, boat, was, hit one. Of the ships were sit with people on him, most. Of no posts but a lot of them jumped, off those. Ships. Most. Of them to their death. It. Carried, on like that, Kerrigan. And they were screaming and shouting, then. It stopped. We. Couldn't see fire. We, could see smoke. And. We were sitting there and sitting than, sitting, there and. All, of a sudden they started, screaming and shouting and, move. Doing. With the hens we couldn't understand, what's going on. Till. Somebody, said to us. Look. Around you you. Surrounded, by British, tanks. That. Was said of man May, May. 1945. That. I was liberated. The. First thing I did on my own, my false ID, crawled, over to the town. And, I need that water and I didn't know what to do I couldn't speak English as, could, speak German Yiddish polish. Anyway, I said Vasa, which, is Yiddish and. German. And he. Understood. The soldier understood, the British soldier, he gave me something I don't remember what it was but there was water I, drank. It and then some British officers, came and they, said you know you are free now this is a German, thought and. You'll. Be living here, you. You. Here now and, this, is a German pool it's. Full, of food go, and help yourself, and there, is no, German. Soldier. Or anybody, everybody. You, see is. British. So my. Friends, left me with one of the boys or two the, others where they came back with masses. Of food. We. Could not stop eating this, was one of the worst things, that. The. British soldiers, did to us they. Meant well they, saw, as I could see house but. They didn't realize. That. We'll eat so much. And. We did there were people. Dying. Died. In. The middle of the road with a piece of fruit of something, because. They came with Rome masses, of food, boxes. Even that, was supposed to be given to the American, prisoners. Of war, and they, didn't give up when we opened them there was things of me then so pineapple, didn't, know what the pineapple, was and things, like that and it was carried on and carried on, anyway they. Took us. Eventually. My. Friends, found where to stay there was a little house, which. We assumed it was. German. For German prisoners, if they were, put there anyway. We were there I. Went. To sleep on a white sheet, on a single, Bank and I said to my friend, look, at the white sheet first time in five years I got. Up in the morning that, said to my friends look at that it's black they, said do you remember last time you washed that's at three. Months ago six, months ago I don't know.
They. Said, but. When I looked again it wasn't just that it was slice, my. Clothes. Were saturated in, light you, know anyway. Some, of his escape. They. Said anybody, that is not the world will take to hospital. Not. One, of them, said. A word because. We remembered, how it's. Big enough he, didn't when we came when. They did the second day the same that third day I, lifted. My hand I couldn't speak I said. Six months add, three months in hospital. Eventually. They started. To. Teach me to walk and, so on. And. Then I met, a nurse, and, I said what was wrong with me, so. She had typhus. I. Didn't. Have a clue what IFAs was now. I did, I survived, being, there. How, did I survive having, typhus. No medication. No nothing. Not, watery, how. Did I survive. When. I asked her priests a priest. Where I asked the rabbi they gave me an answer. They. Said he wanted, you well. Being 89. Now, I might. I should. Be friends with God, so. I so. They asked me judge do, you believe in God I said look I don't, know, I will not tell, you that there is no God, I don't, know I don't. Know so, that's, how it is Europe. So. Like. I said I got better and better then. The nurse. Came it was already German, the doctors were still British they. Said you soon be able to leave I said where am I going. That has temp, here, very. Near here. Such. That attempt I've heard enough of camps I'm not going to again, you. Are looked after the British, and American, army. So. Go. It's. Not offensive. You. Can go to town you can do anything that said good what. Have I got to wear I've got nothing you burnt my clothes so. Don't worry about it I'll see what I can do, I've already got an English boyfriend, maybe, he'll give me something, a few, days later. Of. All things she comes with, the British uniform. So. She says you got, to I'll, have to alter it I love, that of course that big so. She, says. But, you've got to promise me you. Will never wear, that uniform and, in the city or town or anything, I promise. You we. Are very good, liars I must, tell you. So. She. Took it away she, came back with, underwear. Shoes, everything. Everything. New. She. Said you remembered, what you said I said yes, two. Boys came, for me they, picked. Us up we, went to that camp it. Was it Young's. Most of us youngsters, we stayed there looked after by the British, and American then, they took us to a. Little. Village, we. Learned a. Little. Bit there, was only about 40, kids, of us and then we heard that Britain, and sweetness, allowing, a thousand, children, to. Come to their country, you. Could also go to Palestine. But there you at the way so. When they came to me they said where, do you want to go do. You want to go to Sweden I said no do you want to go to Britain, no. Or, England, I didn't know what Britain was England. No. So where do you wanna go I'll, go to Palestine. But. They, said you know it's a quarter, you'll.
Have To wait and wait a sec. I'll wait I've. Got nobody London. Why would I go to England. Or Sweden. Anyway. I didn't, from. There where, I was they took us to him we're, waiting, and then they took us to Hamburg. Unfortunately. I, needed. An operation, because. I hurt myself it. Was my own fault and, I shouldn't have done it it was nice anyway, I. Had myself, they took me to hospital. I. Was. There for two weeks. Two, friends came then. They said. They. Gave me a letter. From. London England. Who'll. Write to me from London England I opened. That letter written. By a woman in Polish, she said she and. I started reading it she says she remembered, she had a son. Living. In. The same place that I used to live the. Same name. Except. It. Was a different, age. And, so, I said it can't be my mother I said. Good, then. When I returned she says, she, remembered, when her son was two, two-and-a-half burned. Himself on, a left wrist maybe. There's still a sign. Could. I have a look at the wrist now that was a 1945. So. I looked. At my wrist. From. The distance, you might not see him. Can. You see this. And. I looked at my two friends, and I said you know. It. Is my mother and. She. Wants me to come to live with that and I, looked at my friend I said no, way I, said. I don't know the woman she's a stranger, you were my family because. All those kids were going to Israel. No. I said, I, won't, do it when. I came back. They. Brought me back to where we stayed where I looked after again British and American, and the Jewish Brigade, which was, part of Britain. They. Went mad with me how, can, not, you not go look. At your friends, their brothers, and sisters and they've, got nobody, and. Funny enough two, of them or. Three of them but, two of them. I'm. Very friendly with had. Brothers, and sisters, and they've. Got nobody. Nobody. At all then of mothers fathers uncles no one. Anyway. They. Decided. They. Went mad. Like, I said, and I, said yes it took me nine months eventually. I came to England. To. Howl and men, met me on the boat on. The boat he, came over started, speaking, in Yiddish because, I couldn't speak English, then. I found out he is the, husband of my mother, he. Said when you get you rub. You. Lay. A you cases. Will go. On, the train to London I burst, out laughing what, cases well I had, a paper bag with photographs. That we do all, we did is take photographs, anyway I came to London. Got. My mother we father her. And my stepfather. We, lived very near, here, Tottenham. Court Road that, says a funny thing you, know. And. Whatever. I wanted, to read gave us both. Of them, but. I missed, my family, the, first six months were held for me one, day I was walking in the street and I met somebody and he said you, know those kids that came in 1945. That. Britain allowed a thousand, children Laden's only, 700 a 300. And something came to Windermere. And they. Took them all they never brought them to big cities, or, towns they. Brought them there so. That why don't you go that they've got the club in Belgium spark go. The opposite, there is a church, on. Sunday, or Saturday night, they they, have dancing, therefore, for, us they. Allowed the church allowed, us to come I said oh rally shall go so, I went one Sunday, knocked on the door they opened the door I. Couldn't. Speak but, I spoke the sentence, I out that is. A little written today in, a book of the boys I said. That the last I found my family again and some. Of them I didn't even know, and they were my family and all. Of us were my life changed. Everything. Changed, I. Started, to work in. Tailoring. And I hated it, and. I said started, going out with a girl and I said to her when the bus says I can will, tell me I can make assume, their. Jacket, they didn't make thousands. I'll. Give up and, I did, anyway. Eventually. You. Know I couldn't. Tell you what their life I had, had the most wonderful wonderful. Life and. I'm always asked, by. Younger students. Young ones did, you ever meet Hitler I said no thank, God I didn't, but. Today I would love to meet him, it. Would do so much for me to, show him my family, of. Two. Daughters four, grandsons, two. Granddaughters. You, think it's the eight no three. Great-grandson. And I'd like to say to him you see my family. You. Try to kill. Six million Jewish, people one, and a half million kids.
Children. You, killed over, a million Polish, Christians. You, meet 50%. Of the jack gypsies. Of Europe all. Those people, we must not forget all of them and I. Don't. You. Know. So. I, would. But. I cannot, tell you eventually, like I said, I got. Married, the greatest, thing in my life happened, to me. Is. I can say that because my, two grandchildren, are, my two children are especially one, naughty, when. I got. Married I went into. Stationery. And printing, business, right. Up to 2002. I was. Even, my business, was five, minutes from here. That's. Why I had to give up because the rent because. Some. Friends, of my took over the business and I was involved in it no, working, nothing but I make. Some money out of it anyway I cannot. Tell you about the greatest thing in my life was. And still is. When. My wife said, to me after, a while. That. She's pregnant. And, then she went, to hospital. She. Was. Ready to produce it. Wasn't, some John's would it. Was running then days. Bye-bye. Not. By, doctors. Naturally. But, you. Know. Hold. Not, an ordinary, nurse's. It. Was a very religious. Nurse's. You. See I forget, certain. Names, yeah. Thanks, yeah yeah. Anyway, and. When I came up at night you weren't allowed to be there when. Their baby was born, but. I knew that it was adult adult, a girl, and. A nurse, came over to me he gave me that little bundle I. Couldn't. Stop crying I, was I was, choking, I went over to my wife and I said at last we've got something, that is ours. And. Like, I said today I'm, blessed, with, two. Daughters and the young ones always said to me when she said that don't say it because what about me it. Not me only you. Other and, you know my two daughters. They. Drive me completely crazy. Barring me twice a day, have. You eaten, yes have you got food for tonight yes, I'll. Bring you some soup no you don't have to that. All, the time one, which. Stains some of you know one. Of my daughter some no bows gave. Up work. About. The months ago to. Look after his mother. My. Wife because. She's not a well woman, unfortunately. It's, got problem, with memory and I, think I'm getting with it, you. Know she remembers. What happened sixty years ago where. I went on where we went on holidays, who, was the manager, of the hotel in the name of that but, she won't remember what she had for breakfast. So. You know what that. Is anyway. So. But I could. Never thank, the British people enough. For what they did for me I'm. Here, like. My little, Elliott, my little, grandson once said to me grandpa. You are so lucky to be alive. So, his mother said to me to, him you two because. He. Couldn't understand, it you know you. Know and. And you know so. You're, alive and you might think for. A Holocaust, survivor some, of us, with. Survivors. Who were not did. Not agree with me I don't, like. Make, especially. Young, children, especially. The. Earliest. I speak to easier, 9, which. Is 14, 15, and so on and, I want them to go home crying, that. Won't help and the, parents, will say why did they do that to, you why, did they make my daughter or, son cry.
So. I am, and I am believe. Me when, I leave, I don't, live the Holocaust, I never. Talk to my children about the things they, asked me questions yes. Anybody. That are three yes but. I don't talk about and. I've. Been so lucky. I cannot, tell you enough. If. They'll show you I, gave, him a thing to show and they don't know how to do it you know. You. Know who you people are. You. Know so. I don't want you to go home cry just, think of it and talked, about that especially, youngsters, talk. To your children, Tokio, grandchildren. Because. It's. So important. It's. Not only for Jewish people look. What's happening in the world, killing. Killing, and killing. You. Know and. I would, like to know who ever won a war nobody. Wins a war we, all lose. Britain. Won the world look how many thousands. And thousands. And thousands, of people. Died. So. None winter, why. We. All going to die anyway eventually, we will die I've, got another 50, years. 89. But no. I, love. The red they say to me a lot of people grown up you. Know teachers, and so on they. Say would you like to. Live. Somewhere else bless, you, would. You like to live somewhere else no. Wouldn't. You like to go back to Poland I'm a foreigner, there would, you like to go to Israel, I like going to Israel but, I will, not leave, Britain. This. Is my country I feel, so British, you know I, would. Never, never. So. Now I'm talking to the grown-ups, yes. But. You see I told you I wouldn't like to live anywhere, bound if. Any of you want to buy me a home in, Monaco. I will. Accept. It. So. You cannot, tell you what I like I had. And. I could stay here till tomorrow morning which, you don't want to and, most, of you will say they've got to go back, so. Thank. You thank, you very much. Thank. You thank you so much for sharing your amazing experiences. I'm just gonna hand over to James now who's, going to moderate our Q&A, we. Have a mic in the middle so please, feel free to walk, up some mic and ask any questions that you may have, thanks. Ali and thank you again Ziggy that was it's an amazing story and a really inspirational, and, an eye-opening, we thought would be good for.
People In the audience maybe to ask you questions. We. Really appreciate, your time so. If. There I'll start off with a question and, hopefully I'll be but one it's always a bit difficult. Even. With grownups, you should see with little kids I. Don't. See any hand shooting up so I'll ask you the first question how. Did you or how do you feel what. Was it that has enabled you to have such a great attitude now. Because I think all of us picked. Up on the way as you spoke that you, you. Know you don't gloss over everything you know you're, very. Honest. About everything that happened but your attitude is so positive and I think you, know it's hard to imagine how. Long goes through that and comes out with, the kind of incredible attitude you have well, it's, just it's, it's maybe, I don't know whether the, world maybe, I was lucky. House. To survive, nobody. Can tell you how it's, an impossibility, to, tell you because, he was strong he was strong he was just as bad he. Couldn't, he couldn't nobody. Could, survive because, of. So. It. Was just pure, pure luck and like. I said before maybe God, wanted, you to survive that's, what they tell me we're here priest says that maybe. I don't know you know. But. No. I, went. Through life and you know at what is more important. I don't live, the Holocaust. As. Some, of us. Didn't. We, were lucky because we, were in a group we. Used to talk about it where were you in the camp wherever your mind was where one was better I used to get better that the. Harm, the German, officers, were better if, they were we, didn't know you, know some, had we used to we, never we were, never miserable. Very few of us a lot. Of them that, didn't, talk. About. It, and didn't mix with Holocaust, survivors, when, they grew up and, they are so on they got married they. Could never forget, it you know in their brain they lived it you. Know. So. But, no I. Most. Of us had, a good life. The. Man, 99%. Of the people that came here and why, with a group we. Hold it pretty well some, did better some. Will I mean. I got a picture I, wish I were which. Most of you not, most as some of you might know. Been. Health God. When. He came here. His. Sister. He didn't know he had a sister because, her sister went to Sweden and. Eventually. Found her sister, and. He, had family but, not from. Poland. From from. When. He lived he, lived forty-five. My a kilometers. From. Where I lived, in a small town he lived when. People for forty five miles. When people went from his place or kilometers. To. My place they used to say goodbye to the whole families, you. Know because, it was so fast nobody had cars or anything. You. Know so. No. So. We. So. He had a sister, and you, know but. Some of my friends that were together what came with band together in, 1945. They. Had nobody. The, only people we are even, those that are alive today we, are brothers, and sisters. I'm nearer. To my friends. Then. I would have been nearer to my, brothers, and. You. Know. That's. Um it's, amazing, I think it's really I. Think. It's yeah I think we all I. Thank. You so much for coming and telling her story, and. We're very lucky to have you here my question, is about. Your grandmother, what. Happened to her when was the last time you saw her I'm so pleased, you asked, me because, I always say that later because, I never say that in the old maid also.
My Father. Well. My father I found out that he went back to. He. Went back from Russia to Poland, he went to Warsaw in. 1941. Or 42. And. He. Couldn't get into the woods ghetto, because. Woods. Lords. Was. Germany. They. Called, it Germany, you, know where. Walsall. Was occupied, by German, troops so. He got into Germany. That's. What I found out from then, on I have not found, out anything, about my father and, whether he was, killed whether, he was he, died in Warsaw, or whether he was taken, away to other extra, elimination, camps, because. It wasn't, just me reconized, you. Know it. Was so many different, ones you know he'll know it. Was. Treblinka. My darling, Helena, Bobby boy he, said all, those places he lived only ten, months or a year. Afterwards. After, a year of ten months I made it a garden because, they didn't want German, people to know, their. Own people should know Sarah, and my grandmother, I found out Oh. About. Two years or three years after the world. That. She died of the, day of the liberation, of. Czechoslovakia. That. It was just, she. Didn't even have one day of freedom and I would have loved to have heard at, least once to put my arm around and. Say, thank you grandma. For. Bringing me up I. Didn't. Have that opportunity No. Thank. You so much for sharing I have two, questions one. You. Say you don't grieve, the, Holocaust and your. Experience, but how much is it on your mind, do you ever daydream, about it you ever dream about it at night and. Then, also how long did it take you to feel, comfortable. To speak to two groups and and. Be. So open. Well. I I, feel, very, comfortable in, my life I never. Talk about it I never think, about it I think, about it naturally because. I've got so many times to, go to places, I, go to, not. To Great Britain I don't go to London, very seldom, that I get, London's, only, lately I get. The Royal, Bank of Scotland that. I went to and then, another one with the name of a man. That was well he. Was involved, the. Building, in the City of London it's all to do with the. Lawyers. What. Was I. See. Yeah. It could have been him I don't know that I spoke to you could. Have robbed me listen, can you imagine me. Hat, I work with that mainly, and had. You know Holocaust Educational, Trust. We. They had a lot of people, talking and, when. Come, to go from, the Train, where, if you wanted, to go when. I said to somebody from London, I said, I'm going to speak to Brighton, right. Such takes an hour and a bit like, train what's the matter with you know, when. I said I go to Glasgow. Edinburgh. Even. Fair, you know then then. I heard about Edinburgh. Terrine. 1/2 hours by car by, alum from, Edinburgh, go to the mountains, where. Them stones, where, there's. Mountains. On a beautiful. You know I go that you, know I used. To go to my wife now I go with my daughter's, because she. Can't do it and. You know it's, a funny thing I found, we are all the same.
We're. Either good or bad nothing, else it didn't make any difference whether you're Jewish where they're Muslim, where, they were Christian. We are, 95. Percent people, are good it's just the 5% that are. Not good and unfortunately, all. Of us the, good ones, we. Only stand by. We. Do very little about it but, I am so happy about the 3rd generation, is involved. And, I'm talking, now like, hello, caracas education, of trust they've, got student. Ambassador, ambassadors. Now. That. They become. They. Go to schools, and talk to, their own school, if they're still there or, to other schools, where they live. Thousands. And thousands, of ambassadors. And, the 99. And 3/4. Are. Not Jewish. Because. How. Many Jews. 265,000. It's, not a thought you, know had you known how many Jewish schools have you got do, you know how, one day I was talking to somebody. In Liverpool, after. I spoke how my son would love to hear you so. I said where does he go to school King, David's school oh I said so you are Jewish, she, said no. King. David's school now has got less than 50% of, Jewish people. Manchester. Has got the same problem, because. Most of the young people want to come to London it's, about, their life or something my. Grandmother was also a survivor from woods and she. Died about 10 years ago she spoke quite, a bit when she was alive and one of the things that's been on my mind since then. Is the, fact that no one's are they telling your story now and, what. Is what. Would you like, to happen like how how, would you see your story continuing. To be told either. By your family or by other people and what would you like those, of us who. Will, be around what. Would you like us to do, people. Have got to realize. That. All the fighting, and all the killing. When. Won't. Help. Why. Do you have to fight why do you have to be, you. Are British or British, or English or, Chinese you're. German. Maybe, people are three do. You hate the German people, why. Should I hate the German people of today, you. Know because your great-grandfather, you, create a great uncle committed a crime it's. Not you fold, and. I. Pray I play, of it I always, say, that please, please. Don't. Hate people they. Are knowing me there everybody, knows me siggy that doesn't hate and one, day my daughter said. Dad. Sometimes. You tell lies I say whatever done now I. Won't. Tell you the name but she says what, about the footballer, you hate so. I said you you're, quite right I don't hate them anymore I don't like him, you. See I can do I hate people, why, we, are all the same and, we are going to die eventually, don't. Please, don't hate, and, I. Honestly don't, hate, the. German people. Because. First. Of all so, that people say that very clever and they say to me also. You don't fuck so you've forgiven do, you I said, hold on a second I never said that I don't. Forgive, the people that did it I couldn't, forgive even. If I want, to forgive I feel. That I'm not. Allowed. To forgive. God. Can forgive the. Children, the, people, that have that can forgive but I, feel I cannot, forgive, the people. Have. Been many times to Germany, not, on holidays, by the way, because. As for me there's nowhere to go on holidays, you, know I've been quite, few, you know and. Nobody's. Ever come to me and apologized. And, said I'm sorry I was in the SS, I had, to do this I had to do that I said, all right but, nobody. Has ever came to me to say that I was, in Hamburg and there was a group of people there. And. Working, for the Holocaust and. I said to them have. You got any Jewish, that no I said, why not he. Says because I feel guilty. That I would. Feel guilty a Jewish person, should do it we want to do that and they, were helping a lot, you. Know and now there's a lot of Jewish. People living, in Hamburg most of them Russians. That. Went to live there so, no no. But. You've. Got to just, talk, and talk about it I wonder, how, you. Would, recommend. Teaching, younger generations. Now about, the Holocaust, so that it stays very present, in their mind, they. Should talk about it talk, about it all the time it's.
Not A question of going to Auschwitz, again and all the rest of it but. If you're going I, never. Said to anybody not even my family you must go to the. Camps to visit the camps if, you want to go if you feel you should go you, should go but, I would never never, tell, people you, must go. But. You've, must read, about it you must, go. To places, about, it talk, about it, talk if, you got children. Of ready. 11:12, talk. About it because after, 11, they already, teach. But. That the, teaching, is very little, I, must. Tell you how bill to Scotland. To graces. Never. Mind I didn't. Know anybody. From, a Holocaust, that was. In. A holocaust, place. He. They've never seen a Jew. Which. Is normal. You know they, live there up, in the mountain there's no Jewish people, living there so. They never but. We are all to, me we are all the same, it. Doesn't make any difference whether, we are Jews, or. Whether we are Muslim, we. Should not hate each other. I mean, Muslims. Should their. Religion. Is very similar, to our and it's you you know so. Why don't each other. Thank. You so much I think that we, can we couldn't have heard it any better from anyone better your energy. And your spirit, is, incredible. I hope we all as. Youthful. As you are 89, thank, you again for your time and for, your insights. It's. Been a pleasure a pleasure and, an honor a real honor to, have. So many people, like what. Should I - take me to. Bring. Me here to speak to you because this is the thing and, this. Is most, of done what. Was. Done today by. The third, generation yeah. The second, generation, never. Did that you know. They. Never even told us go to a school speak, it, had to be gross but, here now when I went to the other which. I told you in the City of London and to, places like that was. All done by young people, like. Look at it. We've. Got the message thank, you very much we will all take your message yes, and keep the tour's going but thank you you played if, you when I'm finished now that I'm finished but anybody that wants to speak to me to ask me that question whether. I'm still the religious, I will, answer you. You.