David P. Boder Interviews Henry Sochami; August 12, 1946; Paris, France

var transcription = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] This is Spool 43 taken from Mr. Henry Sochami, 38 years old, tattoo number 109752 triangle, meaning Jewish, a tattoo of the camp of Auschwitz. He will speak Spanish, he can speak German but it's rather . . . slow, and we prefer to use the language he can speak most fluently.

David Boder

[In Spanish] Ehh . . . SeÃor Sochami, eh . . . dÃgame dÃnde nacià Ud. y de quà nacionalidad es Ud.

Henry Sochami

Es nacionalidad griega.

David Boder

ÂSÃ?

Henry Sochami

[Inintelegible]

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

[Inintelegible]

David Boder

SÃ, Ud. està de nacionalidad greca Ây dÃnde nacià Ud.?

Henry Sochami

De Salonic.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

DespuÃs, eh . . . nos deportaron el . . .

David Boder

Ehh . . . entonces voy a hace . . . dee . . . pedirle que me diga Ud., ehh, dÃnde estuvo Ud., cuando llegaron los alemanes, ehh . . . en la ciudad de su residencia.

Henry Sochami

Antes de arribar los alemanes yo estuve en la Albania, en la grecha soldado.

David Boder

ÂSi? Estaba Ud. en el . . . en el ejÃrcito greco y luchaba Ud. Âcontra quiÃn?

Henry Sochami

Contraaa . . . la Italia.

David Boder

Aja. Grecia see . . . reunià con Inglaterra en Estados Unidos. SÃ.

Henry Sochami

En Estados Unidos, sÃ.

David Boder

Y Ud. luchà contra . . . contra Italia. ÂY entonces?

Henry Sochami

Entonces ehh . . . estuve, eh . . . en el combate ocho meses.

David Boder

SÃ. ÂEn quà regi . . . en quà . . . clase de armas estuvo Ud.?

Henry Sochami

En la clase mil novescientos se . . .

David Boder

No, no. Digo de quà armas, infanterÃa o . . .

Henry Sochami

Se llama . . . se llama tagma tÃlÃgraphiquÃ

David Boder

Ohh! ÂEstà . . . estuvo Ud.[inintelegible]?

Henry Sochami

SÃ.

David Boder

ÂY conoce Ud. [inintelegible]?

Henry Sochami

No.

David Boder

ÂNo?

Henry Sochami

Estuve como clairon.

David Boder

ÂAja!

Henry Sochami

Trompeta.

David Boder

SÃ. Estuvo Ud. deee . . . deee . . . ehh . . . hombre trompeta en el dee . . . en un ehh . . . deta . . . detachamento de . . . tÃlÃgraphic.

Henry Sochami

TÃlÃgraphic.

David Boder

Bueno.

Henry Sochami

[Inintelegible]

David Boder

ÂEs Ud. mÃsico en general?

Henry Sochami

SÃ.

David Boder

Eh, Âquà instrumento toca?

Henry Sochami

Clairon.

David Boder

Asà que toca el clairon, bueno.

Henry Sochami

DespuÃs ehh . . . cuando los alemanes . . . declararon la guerra a la Grecia.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Yo iba me tocaba barreando con, en Albania, con los italianos.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

De allà cuando . . . ya ocuparon la ciudad mÃa, San NÃcolo, los alemanes, despuÃs combatimos en Atenas en todos los lugares de la vieja Grecia. DespuÃs de ahÃ, fuimos obligados de rendernos . . . a los alemanes, y los alemanes nos escortaron como fuÃramos en nuestras casas.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Yo fue en mi casa yo fai/sai mis tres criaturas.

David Boder

ÂEn quà ciudad?

Henry Sochami

En Salonic.

David Boder

Salonic. ÂY estuvo su esposa con Ud.?

Henry Sochami

SÃ.

David Boder

Su esposa y tres criaturas, Âquà aÃo?

Henry Sochami

Uno 13 aÃos, Ziu Sochami; el segundo, 10 aÃos, xxx Sochami; tres Dora Sochami, 3 aÃos.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

DespuÃs cuando . . . vinieron los alemanes nos tomaron a todos los judios, nos llevaron en un campo . . .

David Boder

SÃ, [inintelegible]

Henry Sochami

No, no. Antes.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Nos llevaron ehh . . . para laborar.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

De 17 aÃos fina 45 aÃos.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Nos llevaron . . .

David Boder

ÂHombres y mujeres?

Henry Sochami

No, sÃlo hombres.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Nos tomaron los nombres, y nos dieron unas affiches, y nos llamaban con plazas

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Compartidas.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Para laborar en unos laboros.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

DespuÃs de los laboros, nos llevaron en unas . . . ehh . . . lÃneas de treno, a . . . hacer la guardia.

David Boder

Bueno.

Henry Sochami

DespuÃs de . . . la guardamos, ehh . . . a cerrarnos en gueto . . . a dormir.

David Boder

ÂA dormir?

Henry Sochami

A dormir, en la stazione.

David Boder

Si.

Henry Sochami

En Grecia.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Nos cerraron en gueto, estuvimos ocho dÃas en el gueto.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

DespuÃs de los ocho dÃas . . . nos embarcaron tres mil quinientas personas . . .

David Boder

ÂHombres y mujeres?

Henry Sochami

Hombres y mujeres y criaturas.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

A los trenes cerrados.

David Boder

SÃ. Entonces dÃgame, ehh . . . Âalguna vez trabajà Ud. solamente hombres y dÃnde estaba su esposa con las niÃas?

Henry Sochami

Cuando partimos de . . . San Nico, partimos el 15 marzo, 1943.

David Boder

ÂQuienes?

Henry Sochami

Con la familia que Ud., que . . . conocÃa.

David Boder

Bueno.

Henry Sochami

Arrivemos en Auschwitz.

David Boder

ÂEn Auschwitz?

Henry Sochami

A la estaciÃn [initelegible] 21 de marzo.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

AhÃ, vino una selecciÃn . . . ehh . . . oficiales . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

. . . alemanes, partaron criaturas, mujeres y viejos, un lugar . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Y . . . los que podÃan laborar de otra parte.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Las criaturas y mujeres y los viejos los subieron en unos camiones, y los llevaron a . . . Berkenau.

David Boder

Birkenau.

Henry Sochami

Birkenau.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Ahà . . . los pasaron a la chambre à gaz, directamente, sin . . . quasi dificultad, a la maÃana lendemain no existÃa ningunos.

David Boder

ÂY esto pasà a su familia?

Henry Sochami

SÃ, yo, a mi familia tambiÃn, si a mis criaturas, tres, criaturas y mi mujer.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

DespuÃs . . . a nosotros nos llevaron en Auschwitz, en Auschwitz nos empecharon noche entera, al baÃo.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Nos lavaron, nos quitaron nuestras ropas y nos dieron unas ropas de baÃar.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

De prisioneros. Y nos metieron en cuarentina, cuarenta dÃas.

David Boder

ÂY quà hacÃan en cuarentina?

Henry Sochami

La cuarentina a la maÃana salÃamos afuera, a hacer un poco de gymnastique . . .

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Y . . . mÃs nada. DespuÃs de los cuarenta dÃas vinieron unos oficiales, apartaron todos los que eran fuertes, labradores, los enviaron . . . afuera de Auschwitz, en otros campos.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Y yo quedà en Auschwitz.

David Boder

ÂY quà hicieron con los que no pudieron trabajar?

Henry Sochami

Los que no podÃan trabajar los llevaban . . . eh . . . en un hospital, del hospital los enviaban . . . a . . . Birkenau, al crematoire.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Los que no podÃan. Y los que podÃan laborar nos metieron . . . a . . . laborar en otros comandos que habÃa ahÃ.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

De los comandos . . . nos apartÃbamos, batÃamos, mataban de leÃa.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Y . . . comer era un . . . poco de pan al dÃa con un litro de agua.

David Boder

ÂY en quà comandos trabajà Ud.?

Henry Sochami

En el folgas

David Boder

ÂQuà hacÃan allÃ?

Henry Sochami

Allà hacÃan la masonerÃa.

David Boder

ÂQuÃ?

Henry Sochami

Masones.

David Boder

Aja, hacÃannn . . . ehh . . . Âpiedras?

Henry Sochami

SÃ, piedras . . . con . . . habÃa civiles que laboraban.

David Boder

SÃ.

David Boder

There was a little interruption.

Henry Sochami

Un mes antes que vinieran los rusos nos evacuaron el campo, me llevaron a Wrislaolita/bieslaolit. De Wrislaolita/bieslaolit eran sÃlo cuarenta judios, el resto era todos cristianos.

David Boder

Un poco mÃs despacio seÃor.

Henry Sochami

Los cristianos nos batÃan enteramente, a los judios porque, no nos podÃan . . . hueler. Nos apartaban, nos batÃan, mismo nos llevaban el pan que tomabamos para comer. De ahÃ, antes que los rusos vinieran nos llevaron empujando, nos metieron en unos vagones encerrados tres dÃas y tres noches sin comer y sin beber nada.

David Boder

ÂSe recuerda en quà mes estuvo?

Henry Sochami

Ehh . . . mes de . . . Fevrier â45.

David Boder

Febrero â45, sÃ. Bueno, entonces ahora vamos bien.

Henry Sochami

Nos llevaron en Buchenwald, ahà habÃa un techo de sesenta y cinco a setenta mil personas, de todas las nationalitÃs, mismo francÃs, italianos, de todas las nationalitÃs que existen en el mundo. Ahà nos . . . ehh . . . dejaron un poco de tiempo en un bloco y ahà apartaron todos los que eran fuertes que podÃan laborar los enviaban en todos los campos de . . . la Alemania para laborar. Yo siempre estuve escondiÃndome, debajo de las camas debajo de todos los lugares por no partir a laborar.

David Boder

ÂOh! se podÃa . . . Âse podÃa esconderse a veces? SÃ.

Henry Sochami

A veces [inintelegible].

David Boder

A veces lo fue posible. Habla mÃs despacio, ÂsÃ?

Henry Sochami

De ahÃ, me tomaron me llevaron en un campo chico. Del campo chico, estuve en una barraca nos echÃbamos, mismo, mille doscientas a mille trescientas personas. Siete a ocho de ellas en un metro de lugar. Nos daban de comer a las diez de la maÃana, un litro de agua, un pedacito de pan. Tres meses despuÃs los americanos se approchaban y en cada tarde a las tres nos llamaban todos los judÃos que nos metiÃramos para partir. Los cristianos dejaban a los judÃos tomaba, yo escondÃa en todos los lugares mismo de dentro de los cristianos sin que me conocieran que yo era judÃo.

David Boder

Estee . . . Âllevaron ustedes alguna distinciÃn que fueran judios?

Henry Sochami

En Auschwitz tenÃamos una distinciÃn que Ãramos judÃos, mientras que en Buchenwald no tenÃamos nada.

David Boder

Aja, bueno.

Henry Sochami

Ãramos todos egales.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

De allà . . . los judÃos que partÃan transbordo los mataban, mÃs longe en los caminos, con mitrailleuses. Y yo me pude esconder tres dÃas debajo de la tierra, en una barraca que habÃa fonda, yo con muchos cristianos rusos, que no me conocÃan que yo era judÃo.

David Boder

Que no conocÃan.

Henry Sochami

No me conocÃan que si era judÃo, y yo les decÃa siempre que era greco cristiano.

David Boder

Greco cristiano, bueno.

Henry Sochami

De ahÃ, vinieron los americanos dos dÃas antes que se fueran los alemanes vinieron los americanos verso las cuatro de la tarde al mes de abril, 11; el 11 de abril â45.

David Boder

Bueno.

Henry Sochami

Cuando và de que los rusos estaban saliendo, antes estÃbamos escondidos, yo no quise salir porque me espantaba.

David Boder

Bueno.

Henry Sochami

Cuando và de todos que se besaban y se abrazaban afuera, metà me cabeza y và de que todos estÃn bailando que habÃan los americanos venir, y yo entonces salÃ, pesaba 38 kilos, de la hambrera, de todo lo que tenÃa me estaba cayendo, malheureusement mismo me caÃa el vaso, me metÃa a cantar y a bailar.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

DespuÃs que los americanos vinieron nos empezaron a dar a comer bueno, y a beber, estuve dos meses con los americanos.

David Boder

ÂDÃnde?

Henry Sochami

En Buchenwald.

David Boder

Buchenwald, sÃ.

Henry Sochami

DespuÃs de dos meses, nos enviaron en Paris por partir en Grecia.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Con aviÃn.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

[Ininteligible]

David Boder

ÂCuÃnta gente se estuvo en un aviÃn?

Henry Sochami

53 gregos solos.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Y 10 de salonico.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Nos vinieron aquà en Paris, el resto partieron para Grecia, y yo como servà a la LÃgion ÃtrangÃre Francesa a 1920 y â25, al Maroco.

David Boder

ÂOh! SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Y tuve, la posibilidad de quedar aquà en Francia.

David Boder

Aja.

Henry Sochami

Y por eso ahora, no estuve un aÃo asina, fina cuando yo vine aquà porque estaba muy flaco.

David Boder

SÃ.

Henry Sochami

Y empecà a laborar ahora.

David Boder

ÂY para quiÃn trabaja Ud. ahora?

Henry Sochami

Para la jorno amÃricain.

David Boder

Para el jorno amÃricain. ÂY . . . quà piensa Ud. hacer en el futuro?

Henry Sochami

No . . . mÃs tarde no sà porque ahora laboro aquÃ, y en cuanto pueda trovare un otro trabajo que puedo ganarme mÃs mejor la vida.

David Boder

Aja. ÂPero piensa Ud. de quedarse en Francia?

Henry Sochami

SÃ.

David Boder

Y . . .

Henry Sochami

MÃs tarde puede ser que me voy en Palestina, mÃs tarde.

David Boder

Aja.

Henry Sochami

Y . . . cuando la . . . situaciÃn se arregla.

David Boder

Aja. ÂPero . . . y quà hace Ud. aquà para el journal? Âquà està trabajando aquÃ?

Henry Sochami

Laboro aquà en los [ininteligible] que vienen las cajas pesadas, las llevo si tiene taches, trabo enveloppes . . . eh . . .

David Boder

SÃ, trabajo de mano.

Henry Sochami

Trabajo de mano.

David Boder

Y . . . ÂNo tiene familia aquÃ?

Henry Sochami

Malheureusement, 27 miembros contaba la familia entera, 3 hermanos, una hermana, con las familias todas se fueron al crematoire, y quedo yo solo de toda mi familia.

David Boder

Aja.

Henry Sochami

De 27 quedo solo en el mundo.

David Boder

ÂY . . . no procuraba Ud. de escribir a Grecia?

Henry Sochami

SÃ, yo escribà en Grecia sÃlo que lo que [ininteligible] que me dijeron que el hijo grande de de mi hermano se trova vivo.

David Boder

ÂCÃmo?

Henry Sochami

Se trova vivo, el hijo grande de . . . de mi hermano, el grande.

David Boder

Esta vivo.

Henry Sochami

SÃ.

David Boder

Aja.

Henry Sochami

Y una hijita de mi hermana, la grande, dicen que . . . la vieron viva las otras niÃas, ma que partià con los belgicanos, ma no sà adÃnde se trova, si vive, o muere, no sÃ, en quà lugar se trova no sà . . . me dijeron que se fue en BÃlgica.

David Boder

ÂOh! Se fue en BÃlgica pero no sabe Ud.

Henry Sochami

Si, no pudo saber adÃnde [ininteligible]

David Boder

Pues, monsieur . . . seÃor . . . Sochami, esto estuvo muy interesante, muy importante lo que tuvo Ud. decir, muchÃsimas gracias.

David Boder

[In English] That ends the report of Henry Sochami. Taking about . . . taking about twelve minutes of Spool number 43. We will leave the rest for another interviewee. Muchas gracias.

David Boder

Chicago, November the 21st, 1950. This concludes Spool 9-43A of Henry Sochami, it is a spool in Spanish. The next Spool 9-43B is by a Mr. Mizrahi and seems to be in English. Boder.

var english_translation = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] This is Spool 43 taken from Mr. Henry Sochami, 38 years old, tattoo number 109752 triangle, meaning Jewish, a tattoo of the camp of Auschwitz. He will speak Spanish, he can speak German but it's rather . . . slow, and we prefer to use the language he can speak most fluently.

David Boder

[In Spanish] Er . . . Mr. Sochami, tell me where you were born, and what your nationality is.

Henry Sochami

I am Greek.

David Boder

Right. And where were you born?

Henry Sochami

In Salonica.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

We were later deported . . .

David Boder

Er . . . I would like you to tell me where you were when the Germans arrived, er . . . in the city where you resided.

Henry Sochami

Before the arrival of the Germans, I was in Albany, acting as a Greek soldier.

David Boder

So you were in the Greek Army. And who were you fighting against?

Henry Sochami

Against Italy.

David Boder

All right. Greece joined forces with England and the United States . . .

Henry Sochami

The United States, yes.

David Boder

So you were fighting against Italy. And, what happened?

Henry Sochami

I was eight months in combat.

David Boder

In what force were you enlisted?

Henry Sochami

I was in class 19 . . .

David Boder

No, no. What force did you belong to? Infantry . . .

Henry Sochami

Oh, the name was [unintelligible] tÃlÃgraphiquÃ?.

David Boder

Oh! You were in . . . [unintelligible]?

Henry Sochami

[unintelligible]

David Boder

And you know [unintelligible]?

Henry Sochami

No.

David Boder

You donât?

Henry Sochami

I played the clairon.

David Boder

Oh, good

Henry Sochami

I played the bugle.

David Boder

So, You were the . . . er . . . clarinetist in . . . er . . . a telegraphic station.

Henry Sochami

Yes. TÃlÃgraphiquÃ?.

David Boder

So, could we say you are a musician?

Henry Sochami

Yes.

David Boder

Er . . . What instruments do you play?

Henry Sochami

The bugle.

David Boder

So you play the bugle.

Henry Sochami

Then. When the Germans declared the war against Greece.

David Boder

Yes.

Henry Sochami

I was fighting in Albany against Italians.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

Then, when my city . . . Salonica, was occupied by Germans, we fought in Athens, and all the places of the Old Greece. Later, we were forced to surrender to the German forces, and Germans escorted us to our houses.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

I went to my house and took my three children.

David Boder

What was the name of the city?

Henry Sochami

It was Salonica.

David Boder

Salonica. And were you with your wife?

Henry Sochami

Yes.

David Boder

Your wife and three children. How old were they?

Henry Sochami

One was 13 years old, [unintelligible name] Sochami; the second one was 10 years old, [unintelligible name] Sochami; and the third one, Dora Sochami, was only 3 years old.

David Boder

OK.

Henry Sochami

Then, when the Germans arrived, they took all the Jews and sent us to a camp . . .

David Boder

Yes. To Auschwitz?

Henry Sochami

No, no. Before that. We were taken to a labor camp. Those of us between 17 and 45 years of age.

David Boder

Men and Women?

Henry Sochami

No, just men. Our names were written down, and we were given some signs. We were called by [unintelligible]. 3:50

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

Shared. And we had to work.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

After working there, we were taken to . . . er . . . some railways . . . to guard them.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

After that, we were taken to a ghetto in [unintelligible]

David Boder

Where?

Henry Sochami

In [unintelligible], in Greece. The train station.

David Boder

OK.

Henry Sochami

We were locked in the ghetto and we remained there for eight days.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

After those eight days, three thousand five hundred people were sent . . .

David Boder

Men and women?

Henry Sochami

Men, women, and children.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

We were sent in closed railway cars.

David Boder

So. As you were saying, you worked only with men . . . So where were your wife and the girls?

Henry Sochami

When we left Salonica, it was March 15, 1943.

David Boder

Who were you with?

Henry Sochami

We were with the [unintelligible family name].

David Boder

So you knew this family, right?

Henry Sochami

Yes. We arrived in Auschwitz. We got to the station on March 21.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

There was a selection there . . . er . . . some German officers separated children, women and old people from those who could work.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

Children, women and old people were placed in trucks and sent to Birkenau.

David Boder

To Birkenau?

Henry Sochami

Yes, Birkenau. Once there, they were sent to the gas chamber, directly . . . almost with no difficulties. The following morning, none of them were alive.

David Boder

Did this happen to your family?

Henry Sochami

Yes. To all my family: three children and my wife.

David Boder

Oh.

Henry Sochami

We were then sent to Auschwitz. Once in Auschwitz, we were left in the bathrooms all night long.

David Boder

Oh.

Henry Sochami

We were washed, our clothes were taken away, we were given prisonerâs clothes, and we were placed under quarantine for forty days.

David Boder

What did you do while you were in quarantine?

Henry Sochami

During the quarantine period, we were taken outside to do some physical exercise . . . and that was it.

David Boder

OK.

Henry Sochami

After the forty days had passed, some officers came to see us. They selected all those men who were strong and working men, and sent them out of Auschwitz, to other labor camps. I stayed in Auschwitz.

David Boder

What happened to those who could not work?

Henry Sochami

Those who could not work were taken to a hospital . . . er . . . from the hospital, they were taken to Birkenau, to the crematorium.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

And as for those of us who could work, we were sent to labor camps or commands nearby.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

In the commands . . . we were left aside, beaten . . . And our food was a piece of bread with a liter of water.

David Boder

What command did you work in?

Henry Sochami

In the [unintelligible]

David Boder

And what did you do there?

Henry Sochami

There, we practiced masonry.

David Boder

Oh, you cut stone blocks?

Henry Sochami

Yes. Stones . . . with civilians who worked with us.

David Boder

There was a little interruption.

Henry Sochami

A month before the Russians' arrival, the camp was evacuated and we were sent to a camp in [unintelligible name]. In [unintelligible name], there were only forty Jews, and the rest of the prisoners were Christian.

David Boder

Could you please speak a little bit slower?

Henry Sochami

Christians battered us because they could not stand the mere sight of us. They would walk away from us, they would beat us, and they would even take our bread which was our only food. From there, before the Russians came, we were taken to Buchenwald. We were forced in cattle railcars and we were locked there for three days and three nights, with no food and nothing to drink. Nothing.

David Boder

Do you remember what month it was?

Henry Sochami

Er . . . It was February of 1945.

David Boder

February of 1945. All right.

Henry Sochami

We were taken to Buchenwald. There were sixty five to seventy thousand people under the same roof, from all nationalities, French, Italians . . . all the nationalities in the world. We were in a building for some time, and then there was a selection and all those who were strong enough were taken to camps all around Germany for forced labors. I would always hid under beds, or anywhere to avoid being taken to labor camps.

David Boder

Oh! So it was possible to hide sometimes, wasnât it?

Henry Sochami

It was sometimes possible. From there, I was taken to a small camp. In that small camp, I was in a barrack hut with 1,200-1,300 people. There were 7 or 8 people per square meter. At ten in the morning, we were given a liter of water and a piece of bread. Three months later, Americans were approaching and every afternoon Jews were gathered to be taken away. Christians were not taken away, but Jews were. I would hide anywhere, and I even lived among Christians and they did not know I was a Jew.

David Boder

Did you carry anything that distinguished you as Jews?

Henry Sochami

In Auschwitz, we carried a sign as Jews, but when we were in Buchenwald we did not have anything.

David Boder

OK.

Henry Sochami

There were no differences among us.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

Jews that were taken away from this place, were killed down the road with submachine guns. I was able to hid for three days under ground, in a barrack, together with many Russian Christians, who did not know I was a Jew.

David Boder

They didnât know you.

Henry Sochami

They didnât know if I was a Jew. I always told them I was Greek and Christian.

David Boder

Greek and Christian, I see.

Henry Sochami

Then, a couple of days before the Germans left, the Americans arrived. It was about four in the afternoon, in April; April 11, 1945.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

When I saw the Russians coming out, because we had been hiding, I did not want to go out because I was scared.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

Then I saw they were all kissing and embracing each other outside. I looked and I saw everybody was dancing because the Americans were coming, so I went out. I weighted only 38 kg because of the famine, and though I was falling down, I started singing and dancing.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

Once the Americans arrived, we started eating and drinking well, and I was with the Americans for two months.

David Boder

Where?

Henry Sochami

In Buchenwald.

David Boder

Buchenwald. I see.

Henry Sochami

After two months, we were sent to Paris to be taken to Greece.

David Boder

Right.

Henry Sochami

By plane.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

[Unintelligible]

David Boder

How many people were there on the plane?

Henry Sochami

Only 53 Greek.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

And 10 from Salonica.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

We were taken to Paris, and the rest were sent to Greece. And since I had served in the French LÃgion ÃtrangÃre from 1920 to 1925, in Morocco . . .

David Boder

Oh. Right. Aha.

Henry Sochami

I had the chance of staying in France.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

And so I stayed like this for a year because I was really thin.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

And now, I have started to work.

David Boder

And who do you work for now?

Henry Sochami

For an American journal.

David Boder

OK. And what are you planning to do in the future?

Henry Sochami

I donât know . . . For the time being, I am working here, and as soon as I can find another job to earn my living.

David Boder

Aha. But, are you planning to stay in France?

Henry Sochami

Yes.

David Boder

And . . .

Henry Sochami

May be I will go to Palestine later.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

And . . . as soon as the situation improves.

David Boder

Aha. And what do you do here for the journal? What are you doing now?

Henry Sochami

I work here in the [unintelligible], Where they receive heavy boxes. I carry them, I close envelopes . . . er . . .

David Boder

So you do manual work.

Henry Sochami

Yes. Manual work.

David Boder

Do you have family here?

Henry Sochami

Unfortunately, there were 27 members in my family: 3 brothers, one sister with their own families. And they all ended up in [crematories?], and I am the only one left in my whole family.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

Out of 27, I am alone in the world.

David Boder

And have you written to Greece?

Henry Sochami

Yes. I have written to Greece, but [unintelligible] told me that my brotherâs oldest son is alive.

David Boder

Pardon me.

Henry Sochami

My brotherâs oldest son is still alive.

David Boder

So, he is alive.

Henry Sochami

Yes.

David Boder

Aha.

Henry Sochami

And one of my sisterâs daughters . . . people say they saw her alive with other girls . . . but she left with some Belgians, and I have no idea whether she is dead or alive . . . I don't know where she is . . . I was told she was sent to Belgium.

David Boder

Oh. Right. She went to Belgium but you are not sure.

Henry Sochami

Yes. I donât know where [unintelligible].

David Boder

Well, monsieur . . . Sochami. This has been an interesting conversation. I found all you said very interesting. Thank you very much.

David Boder

[In English] That ends the report of Henry Sochami. Taking about . . . taking about twelve minutes of Spool number 43. We will leave the rest for another interviewee. Thank you very much.

David Boder

Chicago, November the 21st, 1950. This concludes Spool 9-43A of Henry Sochami, it is a spool in Spanish. The next Spool 9-43B is by a Mr. Mizrahi and seems to be in English. Boder.