David P. Boder Interviews Hadassah Marcus; September 13, 1946; Hénonville, France

var english_translation = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] France. September the 13th, 1946, at Henonville, fifty kilometers from Paris, in a home for displaced Jews which consists of a large Kibbutz and also of a Lithuanian Yeshiva which is here temporarily. And the person to be interviewed is Mrs. Hadassah Marcus, tattoo number 48543 and a triangle.

David Boder

[In Yiddish] And so, Mrs. Marcus, tell us again your name and where you are from.

Hadassah Marcus

My name is Hadassah Marcus, born in Warsaw and all my years [I] have spent in Warsaw.

David Boder

Now, Mrs. Marcus, how old are you now?

Hadassah Marcus

I am thirty-two years old.

David Boder

Thirty-two years.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Do you have a family?

Hadassah Marcus

[With emphasis] I have no family.

David Boder

Your husband is not with you?

Hadassah Marcus

My husband isn't with me for a long time.

David Boder

And you are alone here in the Kibbutz?

Hadassah Marcus

I [am] alone in the Kibbutz.

David Boder

And so. Nu, Mrs. Marcus, would you tell me where you were and what happened to you when the war began?

Hadassah Marcus

The war started by us in the first minute [at first] in the year 1939.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

I was at that time with five small children and with my husband, and with a very large family. Our family consisted of over five hundred persons.

David Boder

How is that?

Hadassah Marcus

My children still had six grandfathers and six grandmothers.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

All alive.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

There was little mortality with us.

David Boder

How can children have six grandfathers?

Hadassah Marcus

Four great grandmothers and four great grandfathers.

David Boder

Oh, Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

From both sides they were sll still alive.

David Boder

Yes. Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

[In] 1942 when the edict came out [the doom was proclaimed] on the 22nd [of] the seventh month.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . a great panic gripped Warsaw.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And people began to look for places in industrial plants. By us they were called 'shops' [from the German Shuppen].

David Boder

In '42? That late?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. Yes.

David Boder

Did you live in the Ghetto already before?

Hadassah Marcus

Before, in the Ghetto.

David Boder

And so let us begin this way. What happened when the Germans entered Warsaw? What happened then?

Hadassah Marcus

When the Germans entered there was a great panic. Right away we began to feel his strong hand. Right away he began strongly to exterminate us. And right away he began . . . at first with the great Jewith savants, and with our clergymen as well as with other men of learning. Right away he . . . all of our . . . the whole intelligentsia he took away from us. And later, when we had already lost the whole intelligentsia and all those who could show us a way [lead us], they started on us, the average people.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

They began to take people into lagers. In the beginning we had words [regards] from the people.

David Boder

And so when did they take you into the Ghetto?

Hadassah Marcus

Into the Ghetto they took us in the year 1941.

David Boder

Yes? And you went into the Ghetto with the others?

Hadassah Marcus

Into the Ghetto with everything [everybody].

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Because we were living in the region which was to become the Ghetto.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

So we just remained there. People who . . . if they were living outside the Ghetto were greatly broken up.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

They weren't able by any means to find living quarters.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Because during all the time . . . during the entire war [the Jews of] the entire district of Poland . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . were pushed into Warsaw.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

So that it was very crowded . . .

David Boder

Christians as well, or just Jews?

Hadassah Marcus

Only Jews.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Christians he left in peace entirely. He gave them all the rights that they demanded in order that the gentiles should be able to help, entirely in the open, with all the perpetrations that he wanted.

David Boder

The German?

Hadassah Marcus

The German.

David Boder

Nu? And so you were living in the Ghetto. On what street in Warsaw did you live?

Hadassah Marcus

On Nowolipki 66.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

There I lived.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Everyone of us took in many of his relatives. We shared with everything, with what we were able to. But in the year 1942 on the 22nd of the seventh month, when the edict came out that the Jews should be resetlled, we didn't know what he wants [us] to do. He hung out placards that we are being sent to Lublin. And everyone of us can take along fifteen kilos. The finest people, the strongest, the . . . the entire youth took along baggage and went there, but alas, we had no more word from them.

David Boder

Hm. That was still before the Ghetto was annihilated?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes, that was all still before.

David Boder

They hung placards that you should come to Lublin.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes, yes.

David Boder

Tell me, what was the occupation of your family in Warsaw?

Hadassah Marcus

We were diamond dealers.

David Boder

Oh. Where did you buy the diamonds? Where did you sell them?

Hadassah Marcus

One from another.

David Boder

Hm. In . . . in peace time you . . .

Hadassah Marcus

In peace time and during the war.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Because this had been for generations . . . dealers in silver and gold [and] diamonds.

David Boder

Do you understand diamonds?

Hadassah Marcus

I? No. I, myself, no.

David Boder

Nu. And so? What did you do with the merchandise that you had?

Hadassah Marcus

Nu, that . . . when the war started I had four factories of my own, and when the Germans entered.

David Boder

Factories?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

What sort of factories did you have?

Hadassah Marcus

Chemical. We manufactured argentum nitricum [silver nitrate].

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

That is needed for photographic [work], for lithography [words not clear].

David Boder

So you had another occupation besides diamonds.

Hadassah Marcus

Everything.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

There was everything. I was a great enterprising power.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

My husband was a . . . a . . . a . . . he had everything under his hand.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And the basic thing . . . our occupation was gold, silver, and diamonds. This was so from generation to generation.

David Boder

Hm. Yes? So what do you say was done, you did with your merchandise, with all that you had?

Hadassah Marcus

My merchandise . . . when there had come out the edicts that we should be resettled . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

. . . we hid it.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

But after a few months . . . someone had informed on us.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Because even then we were doing business. And they took my husband away. He sat [was imprisoned] for three months.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

I was left alone then with the five children.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

He was murderously beaten. One day he received seventy five strokes.

David Boder

Who?

Hadassah Marcus

The husband.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

Only because they knew that he can hold out and that he has money.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

He was merderously tortured, but [words not clear] . . .

David Boder

What did they want?

Hadassah Marcus

They didn't want anything. They just tortured him.

David Boder

Yes, did they ask anything?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Did they demand anything?

Hadassah Marcus

They demanded that we should give out to them the wealthy Jew [Jewish N'giddim] who were still around.

David Boder

What does N'giddim mean?

Hadassah Marcus

Where there are still the very wealthy . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . those who have money.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

When he will betray them, then they will set him free.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

But one was acting like one ought to act. And we succeeded in getting him out after three months of imprisonment.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We thought then that it was a piece of luck. But a few months later there began to erupt in the Ghetto strong blockades, as we called them.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

Every day they took away ten . . . over ten thousand persons from Warsaw. They were sent away.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Where were they sent? That varied. From no one did we receive word any more. I lost my husband [in] the year [one] thousand nine hundred [forty] three . . . in the year '42 in the eight month.

David Boder

Hm. In August.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

What does it mean?

Hadassah Marcus

Then I remained alone with all the children.

David Boder

What does it mean? Was he arrested, or was he . . .

Hadassah Marcus

He went out accidentally.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

And there was going on a very strong blockade [raid].

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

All people were taken away.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

At that time they took away the entire 'shop'. At that time he was going to a 'shop'.

David Boder

What? Oh. A german 'shop'?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

He was working there?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

And he was taken away, the entire 'shop', everybody. The entire 'shop' was liquidated at that time.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

And I did not have any more . . . I was left with all the children alone . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . in very hard circumstances, because ten times a day such blockades were going on.

David Boder

Hm. During the blockades they did what?

Hadassah Marcus

During the blockades they shot, searched, and exterminated, in all the cellars, in all the offices.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . in all the places where one might be able . . . where it just looked that one might be hidden.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And he who was found was either shot on the spot, because he had hidden himself, or he was taken to the distribution depot and [from] there sent away to Treblinka. At that time Warsaw was going mostly to Treblinka.

David Boder

Treblinka is what, where? Near Katowice? Near Sosnowice?

Hadassah Marcus

No.

David Boder

Where is Treblinka?

Hadassah Marcus

Treblinka is not far from Warsaw. I don't . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . know exactly.

David Boder

Yes, yes.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . where.

David Boder

Hm. Nu, go on.

Hadassah Marcus

During all that time all the transports went to Treblinka.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

In the year 1943, the 18th, the first [month] . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

. . . there was a great holocaust. They took all the shops away. Everything [was] liquidated.

David Boder

What does it mean, a holocaust?

Hadassah Marcus

That there was . . . nobody could save himself . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . but one shop. It was then on the Nowolipie Street. Shultz's

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

That shop was left unharmed at that time. And the entire Ghetto was emptied out. And at that time, in my absence, on the 18th, first [month], they took all my children away.

David Boder

Just took them away?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

[Words not clear.]

Hadassah Marcus

In my absence.

David Boder

[Words not clear.]

Hadassah Marcus

I was not at home . . . home then [words not clear] . . .

David Boder

In your absence . . .

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

. . . your children were taken away? How old were they?

Hadassah Marcus

The oldest child was ten and a half years old.

David Boder

Hm

Hadassah Marcus

The next one [was] seven years, and twins of four years.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

One had died . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . a short time before, a handicapped[?].

David Boder

And there they permitted . . .

Hadassah Marcus

There . . . Yes. There people worked at furriery, at furs, at shoemaking, at various trades.

David Boder

Oh, it was a large shop.

Hadassah Marcus

[With emphasis] A large shop. One of the largest shops.

David Boder

And did people live there like in lagers or in . . . or people lived at home?

Hadassah Marcus

Variously. In homes.

David Boder

And where did you live?

Hadassah Marcus

I was also living . . . at that time I still had an uncle . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . a brother, and a sister.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

So we were [living] together.

David Boder

Hm. Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

In 1943 after the Ghetto purge . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

. . . we perceived that the time was coming for Shultz's terrain [factory] as well.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

During the second Seder night [the second night of Passover] we went down into the bunker.

David Boder

During the second Seder?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

And where did you have a bunker?

Hadassah Marcus

The bunker was entirely under the ground, very deep underground.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Without windows, without air, and without anything.

David Boder

And who had made the bunker?

Hadassah Marcus

It was made by a few people . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Thirty-odd people were living in that bunker. [Words not clear. A few words might be missing due to a break in the wire. She apparently tells about camouflaging doors] . . . which were leading from the house. And they [pieces of furniture] were put back in the same place where they were before so that nobody in no way could find a trace, that something is to be found there.

David Boder

And so wait . . . wait a moment. The bunker was in a cellar or in a . . .

Hadassah Marcus

Underground.

David Boder

Underground.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

And how did one enter there? Through . . .

Hadassah Marcus

Through the . . . through rooms of the house.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And through there corridors were made.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

Everything [was] underground.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

And that is how we entered that cellar.

David Boder

Yes. Nu? Who was it that had built . . . built such things?

Hadassah Marcus

One's own people, alone with our [own] hands.

David Boder

Nu? And where did one discard the earth, everything?

Hadassah Marcus

The earth was thrown out, because we had been preparing already [for] months in advance. We knew that a moment will arrive when they will make Warsaw completely Jew-clean [Juden-rein].

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

That which one could never imagine before, that such a thing could happen.

David Boder

Nu? And then?

Hadassah Marcus

On the 13th of April, on the 13th of the fourth [month]âthis was after having been in a bunker a few weeks . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

. . . we were discovered.

David Boder

How?

Hadassah Marcus

They let in to us . . . another bunker had been discovered and there was found someone who reported us [?]. He had no way out any more, and we had to start going out.

David Boder

How many people were you in the bunker?

Hadassah Marcus

Thirty-odd people we were then, one's own [people].

David Boder

How did people sleep there? Eat?

Hadassah Marcus

Everything below..We had made makeshift beds.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

As far as eating, we lived on whatever we could.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

Because food did not have any place with us [did not enter one's mind].

David Boder

And when one had to go? How did one . . .

Hadassah Marcus

Oh, everything [everybody] together, because we had no other possibilities. We couldn't get to the surface.

David Boder

Hm. Nu

Hadassah Marcus

They took us out on a Friday at one o'clock.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

Up to twelve o'clock of the same day the people who were discovered in bunkers were taken into the Ghettoâthere were no more people there [ or: they did not appear human any more]âinto the [house of the] Jewish Community Council.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

And they gave everyone one shot, no more. That shot, wherever it hit . . . so that people were . . . from one shot can still live 'quite well.'

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

One of those caught had to take all those people . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . who had received the shot [ not clear, possible a break in the wire]. And he who did that had to lie down last on top.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

This was until twelve o'clock of the same Friday.

David Boder

Who told you that?

Hadassah Marcus

That was told to me by people who had . . . had been present.

David Boder

Did [words not clear]?

Hadassah Marcus

Such . . . Yes. Who had . . . There were people who had masqueraded as Germans. There was an apparatus [organization] for . . . people knew everything. All that was reported.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Fate wanted it that we should remain alive, and we were taken out an hour later. Because this edict [doom] lasted until twelve on the same day.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

At one o'clock we were taken out and searched as big as we were. We couldn't take anything along with us, and besides that, we didn't want to, because we knew where we were going, that we were going to Treblinka.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

Or else we thought that we were going to be burned by them like our previous people, But they led us to the distribution depot. There was the assembly place for all the people whom they had gathered together, and we were, on the same day, Friday afternoon, put into the RR-cars. In the wagon in which I was, were over a hundred people. The RR-car couldn't take in any more than fifty-odd [persons].

David Boder

Men and women?

Hadassah Marcus

Men, women, and children. It is [was] without exception. Thirty-nine people were suffocated.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

From the heat.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

Because there were no windows. A very small window far up. Many people jumped out, not because they wanted to save themselves. They wanted to perish in the [open] air.

David Boder

One moment, please.

David Boder

[In English] This concludes Spool number 128, a report by Mrs. Hadassah Marcus. She is in a . . . and we continue on spool number 129. Henonville, fifty kilometers from Paris, in an Agudah Israel home, supported by the Agudah, and the educational part maintained by the ORT organization. We go over to Spool 129. Illinois Institute of Technology Wire Recording.

David Boder

[In English] France. September 13th, 1946. Henonville near Paris. A home for displaced Jews mainly maintained by . . . by a Kibbutz and supported by the Agudah Israel, and also having another organization, a Yeshiva from Lithuania. Mrs. Hadassah Marcus is continuing her report which had started on [Spool] 128.

David Boder

[In Yiddish] And so, Mrs. Marcus, they took you there to the distribution depot.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. On the same day, Friday, in the evening I was taken to the RR-cars. We were in the RR-cars over a hundred people where there could be only about fifty. Thirty-nine persons had suffocated, because we were completely without air. There was a small window. People were fighting to get out, to get out not for the sake of living, but at least to perish in the air.

David Boder

You mean to jump out?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Nu, go on.

Hadassah Marcus

And in the . . . When dawn came we saw that we were being led not to Treblinka, but we were being led in the direction of Lublin, that means to Majdanek. We arrived in Lublin, and from there, guarded each fifth row by two soldiers with large dogs, with rifles ready, we were led to Majdanek, which is a few kilometers from Lublin. When we arrived in Majdanek we were the first transport of Jews, of Jewish women. Men were already there, Slovakian Jews.

David Boder

Who was there before?

Hadassah Marcus

The Germans. At that time this was a completely new lager.

David Boder

Oh, it was a new lager.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. We were among the first Jews in Majdanek.

David Boder

In '43 it was?

Hadassah Marcus

In the year '43 on the first of May we arrived in Majdanek.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We lived under very hazardous conditions. As Jews . . . They took away our shoes, and we had to stand all night on a field barefoot. Majdanek has a climate which has strong winds, unheard of, or great heats. Throughout the night a frost [snow?] of ten centimeters [ thick ] lay on the ground. They examined our feet, if we didn't put a piece of paper underneath. Afterwards, in the morning, we had to run, not walk, to work, chased after by a young female SS man with a giant dog. Her name was Brigida.

David Boder

Brigida?

Hadassah Marcus

Birgida.

David Boder

She was an SS woman.

Hadassah Marcus

An SS woman.

David Boder

But you had said a female SS man [SS-manke].

Hadassah Marcus

A female SS.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

She was . . . it is possible that we didn't find in all that time another such woman as she was. Her badness exceeded all human understanding. Running barefoot . . . The Kommando [contingent of prisoners] numbered around fifteen hundred people.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Whether in rain or in snow at that time, we had to stand and work. She carried on a lot. When she noticed anything, she released a dog. We were bitten, our clothes torn off. And when one returned to the lager bitten, the next day he was taken to the crematory, because people who weren't completely well, or if one had the smallest rash on himself, one didn't have the right to live.

David Boder

Scabsâwhat they call it..

Hadassah Marcus

An itch, or a wind burn, or a blister from rubbing.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

Immediately she had no right to live, and she was immediately taken to the crematory. We were given absolutely no medical help. Whoever gave us the least bit of help was punished.

David Boder

And what did you work at?

Hadassah Marcus

We worked then in the field.

David Boder

Hm

Hadassah Marcus

Later on we worked by bricks. We were helping, alas, to build a new crematory on that field which was in Auschwitz near the bath. At that time people were . . . they were burning, gassing the people in the bath where we bathed.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

In another part. And they were burned in a pit.

David Boder

What do you mean, in a pit? In an open ditch?

Hadassah Marcus

In an open ditch.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

We ourselves were present when we took out still unburned pieces, parts of people, and took them on the trucks and threw them in the water. The ashes [were] either thrown in the water or they were strewn in the gardens.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

And so this crematory [the ditch?] was not enough for them, and we ourselves had to help carry bricks at night to build the crematory. Three months I was in Majdanek, After three months I was sent to Auschwitz.

David Boder

Why? What . . .

Hadassah Marcus

There were transports from Majdanek. We were told that we were being sent to factories to work.

David Boder

Where were you tattooed?

Hadassah Marcus

We were tattooed in Auschwitz.

David Boder

Hm. Nu, and so?

Hadassah Marcus

Only Auschwitz gave tattooes, no other lager.[??].

David Boder

Hm. Bergen-Belsen neither?

Hadassah Marcus

No.

David Boder

No. And so.

Hadassah Marcus

In Auschwitz I arrived . . .

David Boder

How many people were traveling with you to Auschwitz?

Hadassah Marcus

To Auschwitz we traveled in parties.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

With my transport traveled over a thousand people.

David Boder

Only women, or men also?

Hadassah Marcus

Women and men.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

The . . . A night before, before we went to Auschwitz . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . we had already been selected. We were at twelve at night . . . This was still in Majdanek.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

We were already asleep. So they ordered [us] to dress quickly.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We didn't know where we were being taken. The men of . . . of that field knew that now we were being led into the crematory. There was a case that one man had a wife among us, who still remained in Majdanek. He was a doctor, and he knew exactly where we were being led. So he poisoned himself.

David Boder

The doctor?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

A Jew?

Hadassah Marcus

A Jew. But the same night, as we were being led on the road to the crematory, there arrived someone riding a white horse, and . . . and he . . . and he gave some kind of an order, and we were led back again [Note on p. 48-(2743)].

David Boder

Where to? To . . . to where were you led back?

Hadassah Marcus

To . . . into the field.

David Boder

Into the field?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. While on the road.

David Boder

From Auschwitz?

Hadassah Marcus

In Majdanek.

David Boder

In Majdanek.

Hadassah Marcus

Because it had been the road to the crematory, but the one on the white horse had arrived . . .

David Boder

Who was he?

Hadassah Marcus

. . . in the midst of the road. An SS man, and with an order that we should be led back. When we returned we didn't find that doctor any more, because he know that the wife had been led to the crematory. And he was found poisoned.

David Boder

So you were . . . you were then taken back to Majdanek.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Nu? What did you . . .

Hadassah Marcus

But the next morning they led us to Auschwitz.

David Boder

Again you were led to Auschwitz?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. When we arrived in Auschwitz we were assured that we had arrived in a lucky moment, that there are no more crematories.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

That means there are, but Jews are not being burned any more.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We calmed down a little, but immediately on arrival they made a selection. At that time I was still with a sister, with a very young sister. She we fifteen years old. I was put to the side, to go to the crematory. And . . .

David Boder

You had been told that they were not burning any more.

Hadassah Marcus

But so was the case. When we arrived it was so.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We were comforted with that, that they are not burning any more, but I myself was put to the side.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We sat a few hours and waited till we should be taken away, but an order came again that we should be taken into the lager together with the rest of the transport.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

After that I worked for three months in Auschwitz, in water.

David Boder

When were you tattooed?

Hadassah Marcus

Immediately on arrival.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

And so.

David Boder

Was your hair cut off?

Hadassah Marcus

I [?] . . . entirely cut off the hair. In Majdanek we had our hair.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

In Auschwitz wherever a hair was found it was . . .

David Boder

Who did the cutting?

Hadassah Marcus

Women.

David Boder

Women.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Were there any cases that men did it?

Hadassah Marcus

In my time there were no [such] cases, but in any case men were standing by.

David Boder

Men were standing by?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

They watched it?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Who were the men?

Hadassah Marcus

Various ones.

David Boder

[Word not clear.]

Hadassah Marcus

There were SS men . . . SS men. There were capos, and there were people who were working there in the bath.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Because in the bath men were working, men, too.

David Boder

Men [worked] in the bath.

Hadassah Marcus

Men and women.

David Boder

Yes. Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

After three months of work in the water--that means that in the morning we went in the water and stood up to the neck . . .

David Boder

What was the work in the water?

Hadassah Marcus

Gathered the leaves.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

And gathered the . . . such long . . .

David Boder

The grass?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. It was taken out on the field.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

It was dried.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Afterwards it was gathered and . . . I don't know what they used it for. [They were possible cutting peat or processing flax.]

David Boder

But they wanted to use it for something?

Hadassah Marcus

Possibly. This I don't know.

David Boder

How many people were working in the water?

Hadassah Marcus

In my time, when I was working at this work, this Kommando numbered two hundred fifty people. Two hundred people were in the water at a time, and fifty people were working outside.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

When there was no [work in the] water, we were carrying barrows, but barrows heaped up to capacity, that from seven till twelve we weren't permitted to rest or to put down the barrow to load in the sand for us.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We had to carry it in the hand and go around, and ten Christians stood with shovels, and everyone threw in a shovel, so that, God forbid, we shouldn't be able to rest, not at the loading and not at the unloading.

David Boder

Tell me about the water. How did one work in there? People went in with the clothes?

Hadassah Marcus

With the clothes we went in the water. Only the shoes were taken off.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

If it happened that someone said that he isn't feeling well, he cannot go into the water, [then] he couldn't even take off the shoes. He was thrown in, the way he was standing and walking [just as he was], into the water.

David Boder

He was thrown into the water. Nu, what did one work? When one took out the grass . . . the grass, did one have to dive, or what?

Hadassah Marcus

We went . . . the water reached up to our neck.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

And thus with the hands we gathered it and carried it to the shore.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . and went again, constantly farther . . . in summer . . . whatever could be found.

David Boder

All that happened already in Auschwitz.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

But in Auschwitz I had the opportunity, having been a year and a half in Auschwitz . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . around two years.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . that I had my block vis-a-vis the crematory.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Perhaps thirty meters separated the crematory from me [my place].

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

I had the occassion to witness everything. We are all living witnesses to what they have done.

David Boder

How did you . . . you could see it through the windows, or what?

Hadassah Marcus

It was entirely open.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

They didn't even have the understanding that they should cover it up. Quite late they covered [it] with small trees so that we shouldn't be able to see everything and hear everything.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

The transports arrived there, huge transports. In ten minutes on the clock we already saw the fire coming from the chimneys. We recognized the transports, whether they were fat or lean [people].

David Boder

By what?

Hadassah Marcus

Because the smoke . . . if a black smoke was coming from the chimney it was a lean transport.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

When [they were] fat, there was a huge fire going that could be seen from distances of tens of kilometers. In Auschwitz there were five ovens. Not far from Auschwitz there was Brzezinki with four ovens, but there were seasons when the nine ovens weren't able . . . to work this out, to burn this . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . as many transport as there were, [so] they made . . . dug out ditches and almost as if entirely . . .

David Boder

Pits.

Hadassah Marcus

Pits . . . almost as if people entirely alive were burned.

David Boder

How . . . how . . . without having the people gassed?

Hadassah Marcus

At the end they were giving very little gas. The people were only like they would have lost their equilibrium [consciousness].

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

They even begrudged [them] a little gas.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We had the occassion to hear all the cries of Shema Yisroeil [the prayer of distress and profession of faith] and sometimes the singing of the Hatikvah [national anthem of Israel].

David Boder

What?

Hadassah Marcus

And sometimes the singing of the Hatikvah.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We had . . . I myself saw how the oven was being opened and the people were being pushed in. At each time I also had the occassion to see how the gassed people were lying completely outside, a whole heap. Because in the beginning we thought that maybe it is just the people's clothing, only when we came closer we saw [they were] all gassed people.

David Boder

You happened to pass by, yourself? You . . . how did you . . .

Hadassah Marcus

No. Our Kommando [detail] had passed through that time . . .

David Boder

Hm, yes.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . through that road.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

So we had observed quite well. If we were brought . . .

David Boder

Your . . . your kommando had passed by.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

It could be seen. Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

If we were brought to the Nurenberg Trials, they would definitely have no defense whatsoever. They would absolutely be unable to disclaim anything against us. Because it couldn't be imagined that we will be let out at liberty, and what such living witnesses could give the world. There were also cases that out of giant transports nobody, nobody was let in alive into the lager. Children were altogether out of the question. If they want to claim that they were burning only weak people, the living witnesses can tell that they took away from us the most beautiful, the youngest, the healthiest people, who were still sufficiently capable and strong for work. There was a time when they installed a children's block. The children were given of the finest and the best, but it was only when they had to present proof for an inspection or such. During one nice, bright morning the children were taken away and all burned.

David Boder

What? The entire children's block?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Hm .

Hadassah Marcus

The children's block lasted only for a short time.

David Boder

Hm. How many do you estimate were there?

Hadassah Marcus

Children there were in untold numbers.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Because this we can't . . . we can't fix the statistics, how many children there had been. We only know how many children we have missing. And as many as there are missing, that many had gone into the oven. Cases of [natural] death, there were very few. People didn't die at all. They didn't allow them to die. They didn't permit us to get sick and die like human beings. There were times when we were given bread and we didn't even have time to eat the bread, because directly from work they were leading [people] into the crematory. [Pause.]

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

In the year 1945 . . . it was also on the 18th, 1st month, i.e., the 18th of January, when the Russians were already standing behind our backs. We were aroused from sleep in the middle of the night, and we had to march on foot. In that night we covered thirty kilometers, without any rest, running, not walking. We weren't give anything for the road. We were told to take along our Kotzen, but we had to throw it away in the middle of the road, because the [our] strength had given out.

David Boder

What were you told to take along?

Hadassah Marcus

Kotzen, nothing else.

David Boder

The . . . what is Kotzen?

Hadassah Marcus

Blankets.

David Boder

Blankets. Yes.

David Boder

You threw it away, and . . .

Hadassah Marcus

In the middle of the road, because we had no strength to carry it along. We were too exhausted.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

If one wanted to rest a moment on the road, if he only gave a bow with the head, he was taken out and immediately shot. Very many men fell at that time, more than women. After covering that night thirty kilometers, we were given in the morning fifteen minutes to rest. After that we walked a whole day, again a whole night, and were loaded into RR-cars. He who couldn't make it so fast into the RR-cars was also taken away and shot. In RR-cars we traveled five days, in entirely open RR-cars. Then . . .

David Boder

In what month was it?

Hadassah Marcus

It was in the year '45 in the first month.

David Boder

In January.

Hadassah Marcus

In January.

David Boder

You traveled in open RR-cars. Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

We nourished ourselves [lived on] during the entire five days with a little snow. One from another stole a little snow, because even that we weren't given the possibility of having. We were packed in very many, so that there was no place to sit down. We had to stand.

David Boder

Were there SS in each RR-car?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes, each RR-car was guarded by SS men.

David Boder

And where did they ride? Did they stand, too?

Hadassah Marcus

They had a place for themselves already where they could lie down quietly.

David Boder

In the same wagon?

Hadassah Marcus

In the same wagon, yes. Each wagon had to have guards.

David Boder

Nu? Did they mark off a place for themselves, or what?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

How did they do it?

Hadassah Marcus

They had already their bench . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . already arranged.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

After five days of travel, we were standing more than traveling. Whether it was raining or snowing we traveled uncovered. When one needed . . . the human need . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

There wasn't any [toilet] either. We were also not given the possibility for that. We had to . . . if one had a little container . . .

David Boder

A what?

Hadassah Marcus

If one had a can . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

. . . to do what one had to . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

After five days of dragging us around in such a way we arrived in Ravensbruck.

David Boder

Oh, you were in Ravensbruck?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

In Ravensbruck we lived under threatening conditionsâdirty, not [having] eaten, again beaten.

David Boder

Beaten? Who?

Hadassah Marcus

Everything, SS men and capos.

David Boder

Were the capos men or women?

Hadassah Marcus

Men and women, various . . .

David Boder

And who were those capos?

Hadassah Marcus

Prisoners.

David Boder

Jews or what?

Hadassah Marcus

Various ones. Germans, gentiles, and Jews.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

In Auschwitz we were beaten with clubs that could have fifteen centimeters in thickness [circumference?] .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

There were cases sometimes . . .

David Boder

What do you mean, thick?

Hadassah Marcus

Thick.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

There were cases when we were sitting in the bath in the nude.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We were beaten with such sticks without any why or wherefore.

David Boder

Did men enter the bath?

Hadassah Marcus

Women.

David Boder

Women. What did they beat you for?

Hadassah Marcus

For nothing. [Pause.] It is quite clearly written up in various books who did that and how they . . . what all their names were.

David Boder

Yes? nu.

Hadassah Marcus

But in Ravensbruck the same things met us. But with this still worse, that we didn't even have anywhere to sleep, because there was no good reason. After four weeks of being in Ravensbruck, we were again sent to Neustadt. This is seventy kilometers past Berlin. There was an entirely new lager, an entirely new lager where we didn't have any conveniences, the most necessary that a man has to have. And we again met up with blows and with beatings.

David Boder

Did you work there?

Hadassah Marcus

Not at the beginning. There was a commandant whose greatest pleasure wasâhe was a great sadistâif he could, without any reason, passing by beat up someone completely so that he couldn't get up any more. Later on work began. People were assigned to ammunition factories.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . and to dig trenches.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

I worked at the trenches . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . in such difficult . . . in such difficult conditions. Lately we received eight dekas of bread a day. We walked to work seven to eight kilometers.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And on the second of May we were liberated from there.

David Boder

Who entered?

Hadassah Marcus

First the Americans entered to us, later the Russians.

David Boder

And so tell me about the last few days. How was it? Did you notice that you are going to be liberated? How was it?

Hadassah Marcus

Rumors reached us . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . that the liberation is at hand. But we were already so resigned from everything, because we didn't imagine that some day will come the happy moment, possibly the unhappy [moment], because we had not lived to see any happiness anyway. Every one of us remained entirely alone.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

But the moment of liberation did come. It could be noticed. A few minutes before, before the Americans entered to us, all the SS men disappeared, and we remained alone.

David Boder

They didn't tell you anything?

Hadassah Marcus

Didn't say anything. They didn't tell us anything. Still, it was lucky for us that they didn't take us out of the lager so that we should have to walk farther, that we weren't chased . . .

David Boder

[Word not clear.]

Hadassah Marcus

. . . so that we were liberated at the place.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Because if they would move us at that time, not even ten per cent of us would have remained.

David Boder

Why?

Hadassah Marcus

Because the people were so much exhausted. People were sitting and eating grass from hunger. We didn't even have the strength to get up.

David Boder

So how . . . who . . . in the morning the Americans came in? Who had come in?

Hadassah Marcus

First the Americans. They drove through and calmed us.

David Boder

Hm. Did they come . . .

Hadassah Marcus

And afterwards.

David Boder

. . . in automobiles or tanks?

Hadassah Marcus

In automobiles.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

And later on the Russians arrived. And the Russians remained.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Eight kilometers from us the Americans remained . . .

David Boder

[Words not clear.]

Hadassah Marcus

. . . standing in Ludwigs [Ludwigslust].

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

And by us the Russians.

David Boder

Didn't you see? Did they catch any of the SS?

Hadassah Marcus

Nothing. We didn't see anything. All the Germans women were released half an hour before.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

All the German prisoners.

David Boder

Oh, the prisoners were released.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. The German [ones] only.

David Boder

Did you see them do it?

David Boder

Yes.

David Boder

Did you know why?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. The entire day we knew that they were already quite near.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

They broke open the magazines then. They still had time to shoot one gentile girl.

David Boder

Why?

Hadassah Marcus

Because she had come close to the magazine.

David Boder

The SS?

Hadassah Marcus

The SS men.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

That was perhaps half an hour before the liberation.

David Boder

Yes? Did you see airplanes first? Was the lager bombed?

Hadassah Marcus

No, not on that day. That day was entirely quiet.

David Boder

But before?

Hadassah Marcus

Before, yes. Before we had great bombings, but the lager it didn't damage.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

In our lager there was . . . how large was the lager? It wasn't a large one.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And under the entire underground was hidden gasoline.

David Boder

Oh. Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We ourselves had to make . . . to build tunnels in order to hide the gasoline.

David Boder

In what was it kept? In cans?

Hadassah Marcus

In cans.

David Boder

Yes? Nu? Did the Americans take it afterwards?

Hadassah Marcus

I don't know.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

Because immediately after, we moved some place else.

David Boder

Where did they take you to?

Hadassah Marcus

Nu, everyone separetely.

David Boder

How long did you still remain in the lager?

Hadassah Marcus

I was still in the lager two days, but right outside the lager in the house where the SS men had lived . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . we lived for another few weeks, because we simply had to come to ourselves so that we might have the strength to go on.

David Boder

Hm. And that was under the Russians.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Nu, and where did you go to from the lager?

Hadassah Marcus

From the lager we went then . . . traveled on foot, everyone with a little cart.

David Boder

How is that? Where did you find a little cart?

Hadassah Marcus

We procured some . . . we organized [appropriated] from the Germans, that which we had taken away from the Germans

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Because there were living many . . .

David Boder

Hand carts.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. There were many German civilians. We walked for about ten kilometers, and later we met a cart . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . on which were riding people, and they took us one.

David Boder

Hm. What does it mean . . .

Hadassah Marcus

And we traveled together with them.

David Boder

. . . 'us'? Who was with you?

Hadassah Marcus

with me there were a few more girls. The sister, too, was there.

David Boder

Your sister?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

And a few more young girls who I had to keep under my protection.

David Boder

Hm. And . . .

Hadassah Marcus

Everyone was traveling separately to one's home.

David Boder

Yes. What did the Germans say when you took their little carts? Or . . .

Hadassah Marcus

Many were still so shameless [insolent] that they didn't permit it.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

But they were at that time full of fear.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

And they were simply afraid of us. They had to let us do whatever we wanted.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Later they created for themsleves a militia [an organization for selfprotection].

David Boder

The Germans?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

And?

Hadassah Marcus

That must have come from the government that existed at that time so that nothing should be taken away from them any more.

David Boder

Hm. Nu? And then you took a cart and went where?

Hadassah Marcus

Then we traveled towards Stargard, and from there we traveled by train to Lodz.

David Boder

Oh.

Hadassah Marcus

Because to Warsaw I had no reason to go. I was given reports that Warsaw was, as it is in fact, an empty, desolate field.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And unfortunately I knew that I won't find anyone of the family any more.

David Boder

So you . . .

Hadassah Marcus

So I settled in Lodz.

David Boder

Who: You.

Hadassah Marcus

In Lo . . .

David Boder

. . . and your sister.

Hadassah Marcus

I and the sister.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

And the few girls that I had with me. But they right away found some relatives and some friends from their towns, and they got settled.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

Not finding anyone even in Lodz, we joined, I being a comrade [member] of Agudah Yisroeil . . . a member of Agudah yisroeil . . .

David Boder

Were you always with them?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. From before the war.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

We began to search for our people. And we found, although it was very hard for us, and we began to do our work. Because we saw that we have to create a home for those people who are returning now from the lagers, who were greatly broken up, everyone by himself [alone].

David Boder

Hm. And so?

Hadassah Marcus

We created the first Kibbutz in Lodz of Agudah Yisroeil. I was [one] of the first who opened the Kibbutz. Since that time . . .

David Boder

How many people joined that Kibbutz?

Hadassah Marcus

When I opened the Kibbutz I was with four people.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

I was the fifth.

David Boder

What did you live on?

Hadassah Marcus

In the Kibbutz at the beginning we lived on that which was collected for us.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And later we began to find means from various sources.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Nu, there had arrived more people, and by joint work we were able to create a home for all those who were completely alone after returning from the lagers. And that is how we were living in the Kibbutz.

David Boder

Hm. Already in Lodz.

Hadassah Marcus

Already in Lodz.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

We saw to it that as far as possible we should be able to send people out of Poland, there where our air is, to Eretz Yisroeil. Because in spite of all we didn't have a peaceful life in Poland. A Jew couldn't go peacefully out in the street. There had begun again carnages and again slaughters.

David Boder

How do you explain it? The Poles wanted to be free of the Germans. They knew that the German was attacking the Jews. How does it come that a Pole should do the same thing?

Hadassah Marcus

That's hopeless. He [the German] has left a legacy which, it seems like, will remain in Poland, in spite of the government being strongly against it. But it isn't strong enough to stand up against the dark masses which still reign and maintain themselves in Poland. And before Pesach [Passover] we succeeded in tearing ourselves through and coming to France.

David Boder

With whom did you . . . where did you meet the rabbi, the Rabbi Hochman, or what is his name? The rabbi who is here.

Hadassah Marcus

Rabbi Horowitz?

David Boder

Rabbi Horowitz, yes. [See Chapter 42, Rabbi Horowitz].

Hadassah Marcus

Rabbi Horowitz came from Russia, from the partisans . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . to Lodz.

David Boder

Oh, and?

Hadassah Marcus

And at that time we began working together. Later he was taken as Rabbi of Warsaw.

David Boder

Yes?

Hadassah Marcus

But in Warsaw a Jew with a beard could not go out in peace. When he would leave his house he had to have police with him . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . that he should be guarded.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And we simply spirited him away from Warsaw when the possibility arose to leave for France . . .

David Boder

Oh.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . on the way to Eretz Yisroeil.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And that was the objective of the Agudah.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

And now we sit in Henonville and wait for an Alliyah, not caring which way we go to Eretz Yisroeil. The troubles don't scare us that are happening there.

David Boder

Is your sister here with you?

Hadassah Marcus

The sister is still in Poland. She does not have the possibility of coming yet. Probably she will come.

David Boder

Why did she remain there?

Hadassah Marcus

She go married.

David Boder

Oh.

Hadassah Marcus

She is still quite a young child. She is eighteen years old.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

And she couldn't travel together with me. After us more people were supposed to arrive, but it had been upset. We were informed on.

David Boder

So?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes. Nu, possibly she will come now.

David Boder

Why were you informed on? Why can't people travel?

Hadassah Marcus

There are found already . . . because they don't want to let us out of Poland.

David Boder

Why not?

Hadassah Marcus

Because they understand that Jews are still quite useful to them. Because all that is ill in Poland, all that, is being reconstructed. Jewish hands are doing the reconstruction. Without us they know they won't accomplish anything. And again there exists the Jewish Committee in Poland

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

. . . which had been founded. It stands on guard so as not to let out a single Jew from Poland [apparently a government council on Jewish affairs].

David Boder

Why? The Jewish Committee is . . . doesn't want that Jews should . . .

Hadassah Marcus

I don't know what kind of ideas they have. They say that one lives entirely peacefully and well in Poland, [that] one doesn't have to go to Ereta Yisroei.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

We didn't become legalized either, because they hindered us.

David Boder

The Jewish Committee?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Nu?

Hadassah Marcus

We had to be on guard against the Jewish Committee with each and every transport that we smuggled out of Poland.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

They stand [against] us all the time and hinder us in that work. Now we sit in Henonvilleand wait again for an Alliyah, not caring what the road will be. At the first opportunity we go on.

David Boder

How did you travel from the Polish border to here? You were first in Czechoslovakia?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes, in Czechoslovakia. In Prague.

David Boder

How long were you in Czechoslovakia?

Hadassah Marcus

Two weeks

David Boder

Two weeks? And then you . . . how did you travel?

Hadassah Marcus

To France.

David Boder

By busses?

Hadassah Marcus

We traveled second class [good accommodations], thanks to the efforts of the Agudah [possibly by train].

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Very fine.

David Boder

Who, the entire group?

Hadassah Marcus

Not the entire group.

David Boder

Who?

Hadassah Marcus

Most of the group.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

First went the [members of the] Kibbutzim.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

With us were also private people.

David Boder

You belong to a Kibbutz?

Hadassah Marcus

But first . . . I am in a Kibbutz now?

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

And the private people were who?

Hadassah Marcus

Also people of the Agudah, and various one. If there comes . . . but in first place the Kibbutzim people were taken.

David Boder

Hm. And you had traveled through where? Through Germany?

Hadassah Marcus

We traveled through Germany, too.

David Boder

Did you stop . . . stayed there [word not clear]?

Hadassah Marcus

No. We only passed through.

David Boder

What?

Hadassah Marcus

We only passed through.

David Boder

Passed through, and then you came into France?

Hadassah Marcus

To France, yes.

David Boder

And how long do you think you will have to wait?

Hadassah Marcus

We don't know. These are things which we don't know, how long . . . We have sent away already three transports to Eretz Yisroeil.

David Boder

And did they arrive [reach their destination]?

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

Nu? [Words not clear.] And what do you do here?

Hadassah Marcus

Here we work. It differs. Tailoring.

David Boder

[Words not clear.] And you?

Hadassah Marcus

I am the technical manager.

David Boder

What . . . in what? In what?

Hadassah Marcus

In . . . in the kitchen.

David Boder

In the . . . the . . . in the kitchen

Hadassah Marcus

Yes.

David Boder

And the . . .

Hadassah Marcus

No. Over the general order.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Simply that everything should be in good order.

David Boder

Over the women or everybody?

Hadassah Marcus

Everybody.

David Boder

Hm. Nu, is there anything more that you would want to tell us?

Hadassah Marcus

[Pause.] What I have told are not the protim. It is . . .

David Boder

What are protim?

Hadassah Marcus

There are no protim, det- . . . details.

David Boder

Yes.

Hadassah Marcus

If one should want to relate the details, say about what one had lived through in one minute, one can sit and write a whole year. I figure that from the collected materials the world should know, and she can already form a picture [of] what had happened with us. And now the whole world should stand open for us with all . . . with all the forces with which they can help . . . help us so that we could arrive in Eretz Yisroeil. So that there we should be able to live our life fully and at least feel at home. Because no matter where it should be, we won't be able to find peace. America is not for us. Belgium is not for us. The whole world is not for us, because there . . . there we won't feel secure. We don't demand much happiness from life any more, because we had too much unhappiness. We already have given too much of our share to the world. But still, now we want a peaceful life and for once to feel what it means to be in one's home [homeland].

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

Maybe, because of that, we should be able to carry the responsibility for the generations which will come, that to them shouldn't happen any more what has happened to us.

David Boder

Nu, what do you think to . . . for instance, in . . . nu, yes. And what would you want that one should do for you?

Hadassah Marcus

The world should see to fight that for us should be opened the gates of Eretz Yisroeil. We demand nothing more. We still are quite capable people. The world shouldn't think that that we are crippled, backward [?]. There is yet much energy in us, because there is the will for revenge in us, which we cannot use up, because we are not able to. We have to do too much and work too much and shed too much blood, so that our Jewish consciecce and our Jewish heart should be able to carry that out. Or led the world carry that out. Let the world take revenge on those who have ruined us completely.

David Boder

Do you have relatives in America?

Hadassah Marcus

I have relatives in America.

David Boder

Where are they?

Hadassah Marcus

One is in San Francisco, [and] one is in New York.

David Boder

Hm.

Hadassah Marcus

But till now I couldn't get their address, because when we arrived in Majdanek they took everything away from us. We went in naked, and we were given already their clothing so that I don't have their address. I would want very much to know their address.

David Boder

Did you try to look for them through the HIAS?

Hadassah Marcus

Through the HIAS? Not yet.

David Boder

That is the best organization through which you can look for them.

Hadassah Marcus

[Word not clear.]

David Boder

The HIAS knows how to look for people.

Hadassah Marcus

Where is the HIAS? Here is Paris?

David Boder

Oh, yes. The HIAS.

Hadassah Marcus

Yes?

David Boder

. . . is in Paris. And they . . . and they search out . . . they understand from a few words . . . from a few names . . .

Hadassah Marcus

Yes?

David Boder

. . . to ask around. They ask around. They ask around, and they find out.

Hadassah Marcus

Hm.

David Boder

That would be a good thing if you could find them. Nu, Mrs. Marcus, you have . . . it was a very important and interesting report that you have given me, and I thank you very much for your cooperation.

Hadassah Marcus

Adieu.

David Boder

Adieu. This . . . [words not clear] . . . one moment [word not clear].

David Boder

[In English] This concludes Spool number 129. We are concluding it at thirty minutes. Madame Hadassah Marcus, a continuation of part of the Spool number 128. Henonville, fifty kilometers from Paris. September 3rd, 1946. Recording of the Illinois Institute of Technology. [After a stretch of silence there follows a fragment of a song by an unidentified male voice.]