David P. Boder Interviews Pinkhus Rosenfeld; September 13, 1946; Hénonville, France

var english_translation = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] This is Spool 9-130B, Mr. Pinkhus Rosenfeld, interviewed at HÃnonville, FranceâHÃnonville near Paris. November 7th, 1950, Boder.

David Boder

Paris, September 13, 1946. HÃnonville, a suburb of Paris, in a home of Jewish displaced people. The interviewee is Mr. Pinkhus Rosenfeld who lives himself in Paris but has children here in the . . . in the Kibbutz.

David Boder

[In German] And so, Mr. Rosenfeld, tell me your full name and where you were born.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Pinkhus Rosenfeld, born in Lodz.

David Boder

How old are you, Mr. Rosenfeld?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

On the second [day] of the first [month, January], 1903.

David Boder

Then you are now forty-three years old, isn't that so?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

And so tell me, you are living in Paris now?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I have been living in Paris now for three weeks.

David Boder

Aha, and what are you doing there?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

What . . . I am looking for possibilities of going to Palestine where I have my own home . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . and also a house that my father has there.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And, alas, I cannot go there. I am [words not clear]. I am navanat . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . all the time.

David Boder

And . . . and what beziehung [connection] do you have here with this kibbutz in HÃnonville?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

What does beziehung mean?

David Boder

I mean, I see you here, you are here.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I have here two children who were also with me all the time.

David Boder

Aha.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I am not able to maintain them in Paris. I cannot afford to live in Paris, so that . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . I have placed them in the kibbutz, and they have a very happy life.

David Boder

And your wife is where?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

My wife, alas, perished in Auschwitz.

David Boder

Hm. So who looks after the children here?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

They themselves.

David Boder

What?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Themselves. They are . . .

David Boder

How old are they?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . grown up children.

David Boder

Oh.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nineteen and twenty-one years.

David Boder

What are they, boys, girls?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Two boys. Two . . .

David Boder

Two . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I had girls. They perished in the Warsaw Ghetto.

David Boder

In the Warsaw Ghetto.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes. [Words not clear.]

David Boder

And so, Mr. Rosenfeld, will you please tell me where you were when the war started and the main events that happened to you? Take your time. You can talk as much as you want. Go on.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

[When] the war started, I was in Lodz.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And then it happened. On the night of the 5th and 6th of September . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . we were running.

David Boder

Why were people running?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Because we had heard that the German is arriving, and the fear immediately brought great panic [?] so that at once we were running. We did not know where, what, or when. We did not take under consideration that the German army with its mechanization, with all its technique, that it will run faster than we, but the fear moved us to run. Thus, we are running until today. It is already seven years. Today is exactly seven years since the war started, and we are still running.

David Boder

And so, Mr. Rosenfeld, give it to me one thing at a time, in details. Where did you go from Lodz? What was your occupation in Lodz?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In Lodz I was a textile manufacturer. We had our own factory in Zdunska Wola.

David Boder

Aha. Tell me . . . [you had] a textile business. Did you know the Sigmunds [mispronounced Sigman] in Lodz, from Chicago? They had a big textile factory. [Pause.] Sigmund [Sigman].

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Sigmund in the texti- . . . no.

David Boder

No, and so, nu, you had what sort of business, a factory?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We had a factory.

David Boder

Who is the we?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Rosenfeld and Patovski was [the name of] the firm.

David Boder

Aha.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And we had the factory . . .

David Boder

Is it not the Patovski of whom one is in New York?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I would not know.

David Boder

You would not know. And so, go on. [Pause.] Now, where did you run? What did you take along?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We took along a little money in the pocket. The rest we left, everything unguarded, and we ran. Finally we saw on the road that the Germans have come ahead of us.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And we began to reflect that our running was totally useless, so we turned around and we came back to Lodz.

David Boder

Back to Lodz?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Back to Lodz.

David Boder

Yes, nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nu, naturally in Lodz we were already met at certain points by the Germans, and the local folk-Germans [Poles who claimed German ancestry] . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . the so-called Poles, and we were at once cleaned up. They took away everything we had, the little money. Now we were already completely without anything.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Afterwards happened the story that Lodz was incorporated by the German into the Reich.

David Boder

Oh.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And there began to happen all the calamaties, with dragging for labor and with going to work, and the summons to the Gestapo, so that my father, as an elderly man, decided that he will leave Lodz. Where should he go? There is no where or what or when, but still, seeing that Warsaw was [made a] protectorate at that time, there began an exodus [to Warsaw]. It was assumed that being a protectorate, it will have some sort of independence, there he will have, so to speak, some kind of a chance.

David Boder

The whole family?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No, I and the mother.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In order to take out the money and get back to Warsaw.

David Boder

What sort of money was it, gold, silver, paper money, Polish money?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We had all sorts of currency . . .

David Boder

Aha.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . buried for the time in the Ghetto.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And so, returning, we came back before Pesach, the first Pesach that the German was in Lodz, and we have . . .

David Boder

Was there already a ghetto?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes, there was already established a ghetto, already with all the trappings.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And on the thirtieth [day] of the fourth [month] the ghetto was to be closed, and we tried about five days before Pesach to get out.

David Boder

From the ghetto.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

From the ghetto. People were then still smuggling across the Beth Hechaim at night.

David Boder

Beth Hechaim is the cemetery?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And we did not succeed. We were shot after a few times. We did not succeed. I had sent before yet to Warsaw my two girls. The two boys had remained in Lodz.

David Boder

And your wife?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

My wife had also remained.

David Boder

In Warsaw?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In Lo- . . . in Lodz.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

She did not go along then. And my mother had also returned with me to Warsaw. During this time the situation in Warsaw became very bad. I am telling it very briefly, as the saying goes, if not . . .

David Boder

Yes.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

During that time my father had passed away in Warsaw.

David Boder

Just by himself [from natural causes]?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Just by himself. He got sick. His blood was sick.

David Boder

Hm. Was he an old man?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

He was sixty-two years old.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . he would have already been in Eretz Yisroeil, and now having seen that he had no chance for it, he cannot get over, this brought him his sickness. His blood became bad, and he died.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The rest of my family later took pains, through various tricks, having given away the last . . . they brought the mother out to Warsaw. And during the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto I lost all my family, my mother, my two children.

David Boder

Which ghetto, the Warsaw Ghetto?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The Warsaw Ghetto, yes.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Whether they perished in the ghetto or they were sent to Majdanek, Treblinka I do not know. I know only one thing, that they are no more.

David Boder

Who, your mother?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

My mother, my two chil- . . . children, my two brothers, a sister-in-law of mine with two children, and my sister with two children.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Two were in Warsaw. Two I had send. They had come along right with me.

David Boder

Aha.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And after, when I was supposed to have come to save ourselves from the last catastrophe in Warsaw . . .

David Boder

Yes, so you have . . . yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . I left the two girls there.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And with the two boys whom I had not taken there yet, we remained until [words not clear].

David Boder

Oh, the two boys were in Lodz and have remained . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Have remained in Lodz.

David Boder

Aha. Nu, and so?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And so in Lodz we got then into the ghetto.

David Boder

Where did you live in Lodz before? Was your house where the ghetto was later made, or not?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No, it was not inside the ghetto. Where I had lived was Polodniowa 25, and the father had lived on Ceglana number 14.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Then we were quartered in the ghetto, not quartered, but we heard . . . the German thought that the Jews were moving somehow too slowly. He wanted that it should go with more tempo, and they simply attacked the streets and the houses and shot out everybody in the neighboring [non-ghetto] streets. Then we did not wait any more for the plan . . . we did not wait for the plan any more which was supposed to be that we go according to a plan, everyday should go a certain street. But afterwards we just ran by ourselves into the ghetto.

David Boder

And where did you live there?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In the ghetto we were pushed into . . . we were twenty-odd people in a room which was about, let us say, four meters by four meters.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nu, in the ghetto later, as it is already known from the descriptions of the ghetto, was created some sort of self-government with [its] own currency with some sort of self-sufficiency, that we were working for the Germans in all the shops and in every trade. And for that the Germans sent in for us the most meager [?], that means the minium, food supplies and certain rations. On that we lived in the ghetto.

David Boder

Who was the Elder of the ghetto there?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The Elder of the Jews was Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski.

David Boder

Rumkowski.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

He was the Elder of the Jews.

David Boder

What had he been before? What sort of a man was he? What was his status before in Lodz? Did people know him there?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In Lodz he was known. The man was a Jewish community worker.

David Boder

A what?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

A community worker.

David Boder

Worker, yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes. One of the . . . I can say, alas with regret, also a Zionist worker. He took part in the Zionist Congresses. A man who was childless. A man who had done much for orphans. He had founded an orphanage together with the greatest citizens. He got together money and erected . . .

David Boder

Before [the advent of the Germans]?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Before, naturally.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And because he . . . and because he was . . . at the time when the German marched in to Lodz, he was one of the Jewish civic leaders, that means, of the Community Council officials.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And he . . . because of his patriarchal appearance he [the Germans] made him remain. The rest, all the civic leaders, he sent away to Dachau where they perished. And in this way he took over the complete leadership.

David Boder

Who sent away the people to Dachau?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The Germans.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And he alone remained out of the fifty . . . eh . . .

David Boder

From the Community Council.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

From the Community Council . . .

David Boder

He alone [?]?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . he remained.

David Boder

[In English] This concludes Spool 130 with Mr. Pinkhus Rosenfeld reporting, and we are going over to Spool 131. HÃnonville, fifty kilometers from Paris, in a home of displaced Jews which is occupied by a Kibbutz and a migrating, so to speak, Yeshiva from Lithuania. September 13, 1946. HÃnonville. Illinois Institute of Technology recording.

David Boder

France, September the 13th, 1946. At HÃnonville, fifty kilometers from Paris. In a chateau, HÃnonville, which is occupied by displaced people. An organization of Orthodox Jews, Hassidim [a sect], a Kibbutz, and a Yeshiva. The interviewee is Mr. Pinkhus Rosenfeld, from Lodz. We have started the [recording] . . . on Spool 130 at twenty minutes and we are continuing now.

David Boder

[In Yiddish] And so, Mr. Rosenfeld, where were we? You were relating about Lodz. And so you had returned and . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And I remained in the Lodz ghetto.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Now, is not the place to relate all the experiences that we have lived through.

David Boder

But do take some typical incidents which had happened to you and your family, not in general. [Pause.] Did you build a bunker? [Here reference is made not to air-raid shelters, but to hide-outs against raids for deportation.]

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No.

David Boder

Why not?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Because as a rule it did not happen that people in the ghetto built bunkers. Perhaps in the last moments when the time was already very short. Our street they started to take among the first, so that we were not able to do it.

David Boder

Hm. Nu, and so what happened then? You say that people began working for the Germans. What did you do?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I was accidently, the head of a point for provision supply which served a certain area . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . with . . . with provisions which were rationed, which were issued every two weeks.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

It is altogether [?] unbelievable that when the rations were issued for two weeks it included a ration which consisted of three dekas of turnips for two weeks.

David Boder

Three what?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Three dekas . . . thirty grams of turnips.

David Boder

Turnips.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Turnips.

David Boder

Thirty grams of turnips for two weeks.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

For two weeks. I won't . . .

David Boder

And what else? How much bread?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Bread was given, two kilos for eight days.

David Boder

Two kilos. Nu.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That was it. There was another little, what else . . .

David Boder

Butter?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nothing whatsoever. No fats were given.

David Boder

Hm. Go on. And you were working where the rations were issued.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I was working where the rations were issued.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

So that I must say [admit] that this [stroke of] luck brought me [the chance] that I had somehow a little . . . that I could eat something watching at night in the store somehow . . . that it was possible to eat something.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That gave me the possibilities to live through.

David Boder

Yes? [Pause.] Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And so thus we went on suffering. Four years we were in the ghetto, no clothing, no heating, and wearing wooden shoes. We were [there] until the end of August. The children were working very hard.

David Boder

How old were the children?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The children were then about . . . when they got in the ghetto one was thirteen and one was in the fifteenth year.

David Boder

Aha. And such [children] the Germans already considered as workers?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Such . . . and how . . . such the Germans considered workers already. To the contrary this was fortunate. In the beginning there was the slogan [the belief]. Seeing that whoever will work will not be deported, and we already knew the odor of the deportation, so that even eight year old children were sent [by the parents?] to work.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I can say that my children who weighed as much as about sixty kilos when they came in the ghetto . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Later when they were four years olderâthese are the best years in which a child must have the most nourishment and to gain most strength --they still lost fifteen kilos each.

David Boder

When, in the ghetto?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In the ghetto.

David Boder

Aha, nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Still as youngsters. Before the war I weighed 96 kilos, and then, in the last days of the ghetto, I weighed 62 kilos. We had virtually become skeletons.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

[Pause.] Nu, is there anything else you would like to ask me about ghetto life?

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

For instance?

David Boder

And so, I would like to know . . . And what did you do during the entire four years? Did you work in the administration during the entire four years?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In the administration of the . . . of the supply point.

David Boder

Aha.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I worked there.

David Boder

Did that help you so that you were not sent away from Lodz?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That helped me so that I was not sent away.

David Boder

And you were left to remain with your children.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Nu, and then how was the ghetto gradually reduced? How did it come to the end? Describe to me, let us say, the last six months of the ghetto.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

When the Germans saw that the Russians were approaching and they were not far from Warsaw, Warsaw from Lodz being, so to speak, only about one hundred twenty kilometers, they began step by step to liquidate the ghetto. And so, first of all . . . [pause] . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . were sent out those who had at one time sinned [against the Germans]. What does it mean had sinned? There being no fuel, I am only pointing at an . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . example.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

If one had stolen once a piece of wood from an old fence, or if a cart with potatoes passed on the street and a child of five years ran after it and grabbed a raw potato . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . this constituted already one of the worst crimes, for which they were in the first line, and these were sent away.

David Boder

What does it mean? The parents of the child, or what?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The parents together with the whole family were sent away.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Then for the German there were . . .

David Boder

Nu, who, for instance, reported it, that a child grabbed a potato?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

For that there were, alas, Jewish police who also had to cling to life . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . who [the police] had also been appointed by the Germans, who [the police] watched over that.

David Boder

Aha.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

If,, by chance, he [the Jewish policeman] would let pass such a thing . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . if he would have kept silent about it, he would beâthere were at once over them such watchmen --

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . if not, they would all be deported.

David Boder

Aha. So who made the list for the deportation?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

At first the police made it.

David Boder

The Jewish police.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The Jewish police.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nu, and so, the so-called criminals having been already sent away, they took and sent away single people. That means . . .

David Boder

What does it mean, single people?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Such people who had come from the provinces and had already been previously deported. They had already taken away their wives and their children.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

So these single people were sent away.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Because we [?] saw, as far as possible, that whole families should remain.

David Boder

Oh.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Then, when this was already finished, they took people . . . there came out a decree to hand over all the children.

David Boder

Yes, tell me about this case, about the children. How did it happen, and what role did Rumkowski play in it?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The Germans said to hand over all the children up to the age of twelve.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

To deliver them to a certain point, and they will be brought to Germany.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

There they will be raised and fed.

David Boder

Aha. Children. How small? From six months?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No difference how old it was. From a day to twelve years. All these children had to be reported, and all of them had to be handed over for sending to Germany.

David Boder

Aha.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Exceptions were made at that time for the Jewish police and for such so-called elite, those who were then in the service of Rumkowski's kingdom.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

So that one can say that there were sent away . . . eighteen thousand children [this number varies in different interviews] were sent away. This took place in the space of time from the 5th of September to the 12th of September, 1942 [?], and two thousand children . . .

David Boder

From September the what? The 1st?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

From the 5th of September until . . .

David Boder

From the 5th until the 12th.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . the 12th.

David Boder

One week.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

One week.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The police went around grabbing, and the entire ghetto was locked up, and a blockade was installed.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And nobody could go out, but they went around simply from house to house and all the children were taken out.

David Boder

And where were they assembled?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

They were assembled on certain assembly points.

David Boder

Did you see it?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes, indeed.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Not only I, but thousands of people saw it, and then they were sent away.

David Boder

How, in railroad cars?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

On trucks they were sent away.

David Boder

In automobiles.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We saw no trains, but saw them being sent away on trucks.

David Boder

Now, where were they sent to?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nu, there where all the Jews were sent.

David Boder

No, no, no. [Words not clear.] This we have to have very clearly. Where were they sent to? Did people know . . . did anyone find out? Were they sent to Auschwitz? Were they sent to Majdanek? Where were they sent to?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

All the time we did not know where they were sent.

David Boder

And so let us try to give the German, so to speak, every consideration.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Let us say this. When children were taken, it was said they will be sent to [better] nourished?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Did they make out a list? Did they write down their names?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nothing at all. If there were still such optimists, especially among us who were still in the ghetto, who then did not know so much about Auschwitz, Majdanek and Treblinka . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . we did think somehow that the children would perhaps be taken to Germany. It went under the pretext that the parents should be able to work. In order that they not be burdened with raising of children . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . the children were taken away. Although it could have been arranged in the ghetto as well but we . . . we wanted to fool ourselves.

David Boder

Aha. Tell me, were there . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In closing, we had no choice.

David Boder

. . . any placards, any announcements to bring the children? What . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No. Rumkowski put out placards to come and assemble . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . on the so-called square. It was once called . . . on the Goscinny Dwor [a market square usually surrounded by buildings containing stores].

David Boder

Oh. Goscinny Dwor, yes. Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Outside.

David Boder

Were the stores around?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Yes. Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And we already could fe- . . . feel that the air is somehow not clean, another edict against the Jews is coming.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And so there Rumkowski came out seemingly with such a broken spirit. How much truth there lay in it we did not know, because we already knew that he has sold out to the Germans . . .

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . because of the career [position] he was seeking. But it is not believable that he did want [covet] so much, that he did not foresee that he will have to serve the Germans with so much. But now he already had to.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And so he issued the order for it to be known that all the children must be handed over.

David Boder

Did you hear his speech?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Do you remember anything of it? [This speech was mentioned in other interviews, hence the question.]

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I remember that he gave us to understand that we must save ourselves, and that it is a decree . . .

David Boder

Save yourselves.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Save ourselves, and with that, that we will hand over the small children, . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . with that we will be saved.

David Boder

Did he use the expression 'Mothers, bring your burned offering'?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

[After a pause, animated by the recollection] Yes.

David Boder

You heard that?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

'Mothers, bring your burned offerings,' yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

'It is to be hoped that this is the last burned offering [sacrifice].'

David Boder

Aha. Yes, because I want to tell you, I have . . . the same that you have told me, was told to me by a boy from Buchenwald.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

You understand?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

And it is important that we get it from various corners of the world, we get the same story.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes, yes, yes, it is correct.

David Boder

Nu, go on.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And we were so desperate. It is not understood even by us how the Jewish mother could give away her child. There were cases where the children were taken and they were hidden in ovens, plastered over. And there were such cases about which I know. A friend of mine took a child and gave it narcotics, and he put it in, one might say, in a far corner of the courtyard, because he figured that the police would go through the house in two hours, and he put it in such a hole and on top he strewed a little sand, just so it should not be known. And thus he saved his child. The largest majority could not find counsel to help themselves. There were cases that mothers went with the children. They were taken along.

David Boder

The mothers were taken along.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes, such favors the German would do.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

And that was approximately when?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Everything happened from the 5th to the 12th of September.

David Boder

In what year, '42?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

'42.

David Boder

'42. Nu, what happened after that? [Pause.] Nu, there were saved children. Were they later seen on the street, or what?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Who? The saved children?

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

It looked as if, that generally [in fact], the German had not [given?] such [?] an order, but we were gripped by such horror that we thought that we must comply at once. Otherwise he threatened us with immediate death and he would deport the entire ghetto. [Note: Does he imply that the order about the surrender of the children was conceived by the local German authorities without orders from above?]

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

But eventually, when the calamity had passed, we saw that whoever had saved himself had saved himself. But it did not really matter much, because eventually everybody had to pass through Auschwitz and Majdanek, so that he who had saved himself saved himself only for a certain time. However, with the children it resulted at that time that these two thousand [were saved] until we were deported.

David Boder

How many were taken, two thousand?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Eighteen thousand were taken.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And [the] two thousand who had remained, these ultimately perished in Auschwitz.

David Boder

Oh, nu? And so, that . . . now, how long were you in the Lodz Ghetto,- until the liberation?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No.

David Boder

Aha.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I was until the 25th [day] of the 8th [month] in the Lodz Ghetto.

David Boder

Yes. Nu? Until when?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

'44.

David Boder

Yes, and where did you go from the Lodz Ghetto?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

From the Lodz Ghetto we were sent away to Auschwitz.

David Boder

You, and so, let us now . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Myself, with my wife, with two children, with my two cousins . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . who had come as deportees from Zdunska Wola, and I had taken them in with me.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Charash was their name.

David Boder

Charash or Karash?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Charash.

David Boder

How is it spelled?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

With a Ch . . . C . . . H. There was another Karash, a little baker in Lodz by the name of Karash. It was not the . . .

David Boder

With a K . . . that was another one.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That was another one.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

So then we were together. I, my wife, and my two [sons] makes four, and my two cousins who were living with [us] make six. They were girls, so that the wife and the girls went separately, and I with my two children whom I had succeeded in . . .

David Boder

Boys.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Boys, yes, with whom I am living now here in HÃnonville.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And we were there twelve days.

David Boder

Where, in Auschwitz?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In Auschwitz. What we had gone through in Auschwitz is indescribable

David Boder

And so, let us have this. When the train arrived in Auschwitz you were still in the same railroad car with your wife and the . . . the . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

With the wife and with the . . . the . . . with the . . .

David Boder

. . . with the relatives and the children.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . with the children.

David Boder

Nu, what happened in Auschwitz at the station?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In Auschwitz, the moment we . . . We did not know anything. That whole secret had been so well kept that when we arrived in Auschwitz . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . until we saw already through the window of the cars the barracks from afar and we had conceded to ourselves that we are lost, we were still thinking that we are being sent to work.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The German had persuaded us that now . . . we have to work . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . and seeing that the Russians are approaching . . . and furthermore, he carried out propaganda among us to know that fierce battles will rage and all of us might fall at Lodz.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We should know that . . . and with bombs and with the great aerial danger which is to come, so that it will be very desirable for us to go to Germany to work.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We took along with us everything, the best that can only be, the last that we still possessed of clothing with the couple of shirts, because more we did not possess.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And the moment we came near Auschwitz we saw at once our ruin. We saw already the huge barracks, and we saw already men and women. We saw already the Polish guards [?], and we saw that we were already lost.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The moment we got off in Auschwitz there stood on the spot an SS man, and he at once carried out the selection.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

First of all men separately and women separately, old ones separately and young ones separately, those who appeared sickly separately and those appeared healthier went separately.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

My wife and the . . . and the two girls . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . the cousins, were immediately taken away from me so that I did not see them any more.

David Boder

They were not afterwards in the women's quarter? Could one find out in Auschwitz . . . could a husband discover whether his wife is in a block there or not?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No.

David Boder

One could not.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

One could not find out.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Possibly in a few counted cases, but [in general] one could not find out.

David Boder

So then perhaps they were taken to the women's block?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Perhaps they were taken. I do not know whether they had perished in Auschwitz or were taken to the women's block and later on they went to Stutthoff where people were being taken. I had some sort of regards from [through] one young girl who had been in the same railroad car with us.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

So I figure that she had probably been deported together with my wife and the two cousins. She did come back. Then she told me that there in Stutthoffâthat is near Danzig on the Baltic Seaâthat the people had been taken there and drowned. From there . . . [?]

David Boder

Drowned?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes. Admitting that my wife was perhaps weak and sick . . .

David Boder

Hm.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Seeing that they did not come back, it is highly probable, as much as I looked for information . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . and as much as it was vital for me to find some news, that they perished there in Stutthoff.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Quite simpleâthey had drowned them there in the sea.

David Boder

Hm. What happened to you in Auschwitz?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I was in Auschwitz twelve days.

David Boder

Together with the two boys?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Always together with the two boys. I also took pains, with God's, praised be His Name, help, that although we were in separate blocks, we still took pains just to keep together. And we were together. The life in Auschwitz is indescribable. I think that you are sufficiently informed and know already . . .

David Boder

Were you tattooed?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No.

David Boder

How do you explain that?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We . . . [?]

David Boder

In Auschwitz people were tattooed.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

But not all were tattooed.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Those who worked in Birkenau were tattooed and even such who were sent away. Precisely the group with which we went to the vicinity of Chemitz, to a plant of Auto-Union, well, this group was not tattooed.

David Boder

Hm. You went together with your two sons.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I went together with my two sons.

David Boder

Did it cost you there some efforts to remain together, or did it happen by itself?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

[Pause.] Not especially. It was more luck than trouble, I must tell you.

David Boder

Yes. What does luck mean?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That means luck played for me. I was together with the children, and they were already somewhat like grown-ups. We always saw to it . . . In Auschwitz there was such a work-detail.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And there people registered who wanted to go to work.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

So that we had made up that if something will happen, so that if we should have to go away, then we all should register together in order to be together again.

David Boder

Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And we succeeded in it, and we arrived . . .

David Boder

Oh, they asked who wanted to go to work and you registered yourself.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I had registered myself, and naturally there was a doctor, too. We were all checked, and thus we were all sent to the vicinity of Chemnitz, near [name not clear].

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And after that we were in . . . in . . . [pause].

David Boder

Nu? It does not matter. In some other place.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In another place. This factory was burned down by the bombing.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And there we worked until the 13th [day] of the 4th [month].

David Boder

The 13th of April.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

1945, yes.

David Boder

1945, nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I have to say that until the 15th [day] of the 2nd [month] the conditions were not so bad yet . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . in comparison with Auschwitz and the ghetto life.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We had comparatively [tolerable] conditions. We got a bread of a kilo and a half for eight persons, and a soup . . .

David Boder

Every day?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Every day we got a soup.

David Boder

Aha.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Thus, we received no underwear, except for the only shirt which we had received in Auschwitz. That we wore until liberation.

David Boder

And that was how long, six months?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That was from the 5th [day] of the 9th [month] . . .

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

until the 13th [day] of the 4th [month]. No . . . the 13th [day] of the 4th [month] we left Auschwitz, but then until the 7th of May we still wore that shirt.

David Boder

The same shirt.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Aha. Who come? Who liberated you? In . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Then it happened that the . . . the Americans began approaching and the factory was in danger . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

that means, so as not to be surrounded then it came that we started to march out. We were not able to march very far. This is a separate chapter by itself. Of all the periods that we went through . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

then this chapter of the march from the 13th [day] of the 4th [month] until the liberation on the 7th of May presents something special [unique].

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

This is a separate . . . one must have special journalistic talents . . .

David Boder

I do not want journalistic talents . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

to be able to describe it.

David Boder

. . . journalistic talents. We want . . . let others be the journalists. I am not a journalist, and you are not a journalist.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Journalist, yes.

David Boder

And so, in plain language, tell me what happened there. [Chuckle.] One does not need for that journalistic talents.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Just the facts. I want to tell you, we just want to 'accuse' expose the deeds of the Germans. [It seems that within the context of this interview, as one of many, and considering the time it was taken, no apology should be required even from a scientist, for the last sentence. D.P.B.]

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

And we want the facts. Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And so, the facts were that we marched daily, the least, fifteen kilometers, and thirty kilometers we marched, too. We made a march from Chemnitz to the vicinity of Marienbad, Karlsbad.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We had marched . . .

David Boder

That is Czechoslavakia.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We got six potatoes a day.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No [word not clear] potatoes, not always cooked. But if we would stop for a day, they would be boiled there . . . if we would stop for a day. If it would happen that we would march on, or stayed only for twelve hours . . .

David Boder

How many people . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . they would not be cooked.

David Boder

. . . were marching?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We marched . . . This I want to explain to you. We were in the factory four hundred and fifty people.

David Boder

Oh.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We lived there from the beginning of 9th month ['44] to the 13th [day] of the 4th [month]. The mortality was, I must tell you . . . only eight persons [of our factory group] had died in the entire eight months.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

But when we began . . .

David Boder

That is not too many.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No, rather not too many.

David Boder

Nu.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

But afterwards when we marched from the 13th [day] of the 4th [month] until the 7th of May hundred and fifty persons had died.

David Boder

Yes. How does one know these [exact] numbers? Whether a hundred and fifty, whether a hundred and thirty . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I will explain it to you.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Because there was . . .

David Boder

You understand why I am asking?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes, yes, yes. Because there was a scribe there in the office as long as we were there in the factory.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We would enter the day shift and the night shift, and issuing the rations, naturally for everything there had to be entries [in the books]. His name is . . . a certain . . . his name was Szaja Spiegel.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And he is now in Lodz. He kept [preserved?] all the files [card indexes]. We still figured if we should be soon liberated and the families will be, too, then everybody must be informed, 'you should know your mother had died. Your brother had died.' He kept [took care of] the files [card indexes] each day as to how large the mortality was, so that he knows about the mortality up to the last moment.

David Boder

Aha. Nu. Good, that is a good answer. Nu, go on. What happened on the road?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

On the road happened just . . . we were just marching, and at night to sleep we were given a barn where we could go in . . . where normally could go in sixty, seventy people. So they would put us in there, all the four hundred and fifty persons.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And during the day we marched again, and through that marching people would drop like flies. Without food, just marching.

David Boder

And what would be done with the people who fell?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

The fallen people . . . they took a ditch which had been dug and they were . . . and they were buried.

David Boder

That means when they were dead. And when people remained behind from weakness?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

People who remained behind from weakness . . . there were cases that they were shot, too.

David Boder

Nu, and [words not clear]?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . who had lagged behind.

David Boder

And in other cases?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In other cases [it] would happen that they would tell us to lead [transport?] the people.

David Boder

Lead [transport and lead, both translations could be correct].

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And besides, I must . . . there were carts, too. The SS man of our group was not yet the greatest enemy of Israel. So far the weak who had to be taken in carts [?] he somehow . . . he rented us carts. That means he requisitioned carts there and they were transported.

David Boder

With horses?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

With horses.

David Boder

Hm. So then he was a kind enough SS man.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Naturally one must admit [that] according to what we hear about others, that means to us already . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . a kind one.

David Boder

What was he, an officer, or a . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

A corporal.

David Boder

A corporal with assistants.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

With assistants, yes.

David Boder

Nu, and on the road, while walking or running, did one not talk with the SS men occasionally?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

There were such with whom we did talk, and they would say already 'You should know that you will not suffer too much longer.'

David Boder

Why?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That means the war is coming to an end already.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Those were the same who were also guarding us in the factory.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And they would explain to us, too . . . [in low voice] there were among them . . . [repeats aloud] there were among them such who were communists, such who were communists, but they were a very small percentage.

David Boder

Yes. Nu? Then where did you arrive?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We arrived in the vicinity of Marienbad.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

About fifteen kilometers.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And there we already saw that there is no more . . . we are already surrounded from all sides, so while walking . . . somehow we . . . we could feel that the skin is already burning on the SS men, so we sat down and we said we are not going any further. And he said too, 'Well, I am setting you free . . . '

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

' . . . and go home.'

David Boder

What did he say? He said you are free?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

'You are free.' And they scattered and left us.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And thus we were . . .

David Boder

Hm. They did not try to kill the people or . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No. Because they themselves saw already that their blessings [?] are over.

David Boder

And they took along their rifles and they scattered.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

They took along their rifles and they scattered.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We remained hefker [abandoned] on the road.

David Boder

What does it mean, 'hefker'? [It also means on our own.]

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We went around the villages there and begged. We got there something to eat. There was no . . . we were in Czechoslavakia and the Czechs treated us very decently.

David Boder

Oh, it was in Czechoslavakia.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

It was, yes.

David Boder

Aha. And so, that was the end.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

And then where did you go when you were liberated? Did you go back to Lodz?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

All, the majority of us went back to Lodz.

David Boder

I mean you yourself.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I myself did not go back. Why not?

David Boder

And your two sons were with you . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

. . . all the time?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

My sons were together with me all the time.

David Boder

So you did not go back.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

No. Why not? Seeing that we knew that we have property in Eretz Yisroeil.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And we did not believe any more . . . we knew that the family is no more. We considered it purposeless. And to go and build in Poland we did not . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . want any more. And we thought that we will be able to enter Eretz Yisroeil. And so, arriving in Prague, both of my children fell sick. They began to have fever.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And they lay in the hospital three months.

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

With high fever. And so, with difficulties, I got [rescued] them out. At that time I saw to get in touch with an unofficial Aliyah [a society], that means that I should be able to black myself across [cross the border illegally] and go again on foot to Italy, and from there to get to Israel. I saw it was impossible.

David Boder

Oh, with an unofficial Aliyah. Those who go secretly through Italy, yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Through Italy. So we realized that this is not for our strength. For the children neither because they were very run down. They were skin and bones.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And I counted on that, too, seeing that I have a home of my own in . . . in Tel Aviv, and also a house from my father, so that we have had invested in Tel Aviv . . .

David Boder

Why did you buy the houses? Was your father in Palestine?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes, and I too. I was there too, yes.

David Boder

And you had brought there the houses . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

. . . in Tel Aviv.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

And what, rented out?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Rented out naturally, for rent. In 1936 we invested there ten thousand pounds. So that my children and I figured . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . that we, because we have there our property and will not be a burden to anyone . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . we will sure have the right and will not need to go with the Aliyah B . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . and we will be able to enter Eretz Yisroeil, but at the end we see that . . . we were not able to enter Eretz Yisroeil.

David Boder

Who is responsible for the certificates, that you are not getting them? Every month fifteen hundred certificates are available.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

What does it mean who is responsible? With fifteen hundred certificates, the capitalists . . . when the Aliyah stopped . . . only the so-called children were let in. I do not know at all who did go on the fifteen hundred certificates. I only know it is one great cry to heaven that I who have an estate which before the war was worth ten thousand poundsâtoday in Eretz Yisroeil it is valued at thirty thousand poundsâand [excitedly with tears in his voice] I am sitting here with my children, undernourished, and do not eat meat all week, and not wearing adequate clothing, and not having adequate shoes, and cannot enter Eretz Yisroeil. This is a crime which should awaken the conscience of the world!

David Boder

And that which you had hidden in Lodz, did you find it?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I have hidden it, but I am afraid to go to Lodz.

David Boder

It is still hidden.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

It is still hidden. We have left a factory, too, in Zdunska Wola, which has been nationalized. I do not even have an interest to go and take it back. Because I am only . . . my only desire is to be able to go to Eretz Yisroeil, and there I will already live through my years.

David Boder

Why don't you eat meat all week?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That is very simple, because there is none.

David Boder

One has no means?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

One has no financial means. There are none. In the German lager there is still an UNRRA. There still is . . .

David Boder

You say that you are getting rent in Palestine. Can't they send the money from there? Pardon me for asking that.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

You have a perfect right and you are completely in order. I must explain to you this, that the English made a law . . .

David Boder

Oh.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

. . . that all those who are there . . . that means, the property of enemy aliens, of people who are not there, all that reverted under the [control of] English government.

David Boder

But it is deposited. It is being kept for you.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Everything is being kept there and deposited.

David Boder

What sort of enemy alien are you?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I do not know. That is how it was. It seems that Jews are enemies, because all that was . . . in the end it is not just for enemy aliens. Later it was done because all the heirs were not there, because there are huge estates to which there are no claimants, so the government took it all away [over].

David Boder

In Palestine?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In Palestine, yes. Up to now I was in Germany in a lager [DP] camp and had no chance whatsoever to communicate. It was very hard. They did not . . . all languages were . . .

David Boder

Were you there in the [DP] camp with the children?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I was, yes.

David Boder

In which one?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In Landsberg. A whole year.

David Boder

Yes. After the liberation.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

After the liberation. Where we were maintained by the UNRRA.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I could not send mail to Eretz Yisroeil. I must mention that this is also an unheard of wrong.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Letters can be sent in English, in French, in Russian, and in Polish, but Yiddish letters cannot be written [sent]. And so I had . . .

David Boder

[Words not clear.]

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

To Palestine.

David Boder

From the American zone?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

From the American zone. [This seems incorrect. Refers possibly to telegrams.]

David Boder

The Americans have no Jewish censors?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That's how it is. And so I am affirming it as a fact.

David Boder

Yes? Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

That one cannot write in Yiddish.

David Boder

And this is still until today?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

This is still until today. I left . . . until three weks ago one could not write in Yiddish [??].

David Boder

From Landsberg.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

From Landsberg. Just these four languages. English, French and German and Polish.

David Boder

Polish. Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nu, I began to correspond.

David Boder

With Palestine.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

With Palestine. So that I am . . . so that . . .

David Boder

Did you enter France legally?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I entered France legally. [Words not clear.]

David Boder

Yes. Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

But, unfortunately, I am sorry that I came too late. If I had come earlier I would have been able to enter with the Aliyah B. Today I hear people are going to Cyprus, but I must say that my . . .

David Boder

The Aliyah B is the underground Aliyah.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes. The under . . . the so-called illegal Aliyah.

David Boder

Yes. Nu?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

So that I myself, I cannot decide whether to go to Cyprus. The children do not want to stay here. They say even to Cyprus they want to go. And so, in any case, I want to return to your question.

David Boder

Cyprus or no Cyprus, they want to go.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Yes.

David Boder

Yes?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

In any case . . . because to suffer hunger hereâit makes no difference to them. Let it be Cyprus as long as it is near Eretz Yisroeil. They think there they will be closer. In any case I want to return to your question. You asked that if having there such an estate which before the war brought in around seven hundred pounds per year, why I should suffer hunger here.

David Boder

Yes.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I am explaining to you that it is for the reason that it was frozen, my estate, and that is why I have no means. And I am not let in either, so that I am now in a completely desperate situation.

David Boder

And so, you see then that everyone has a different story.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Naturally. Everyone has different troubles, and everyone has a different story.

David Boder

And what do you now in Paris? Do you talk with the English? Do you try to do something?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

There are many people arriving from Eretz Yisroeil. I think that if someone will be able . . . I plead that perhaps my account may be opened. I want to do it through a notary, that I am here with two children, that something should be given to me to live on from my estate.

David Boder

[Words not clear.]

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And I do not have an answer yet. And then, it is only three weeks since I have come to Paris.

David Boder

Hm. And you are staying in Paris and the children are staying here?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

And the children are here.

David Boder

What is the name of the Kibbutz here?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

HÃnonville.

David Boder

No, no, no, I mean the Kibbutz.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

What the name is?

David Boder

The Kibbutz has a name.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Neizach Yisroeil.

David Boder

Hm, the Neizach Yisroeil. And have you always been a Hassid?

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I always have been a Hassid. I come from Hassidic parents, and I remain a Hassidic Jew, and will go on bringing up my children as Hassidic Jewish children.

David Boder

And so, Mr. Rosenfeld, I thank you very much. You have given me a very good report, and I am convinced it will do something for us all.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

But I want to ask you again . . .

David Boder

Hm.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

I want to ask you to talk to the Jewish commonwealth [Klal Yisroeil], that they should all see . . . we are tormented here greatly. And we are suffering. We have no housing and we have no food. We have nothing. The situation has not improved much over the German times, but this, especially, I must . . .

David Boder

Come, come . . .

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nu, naturally we are not under SS men.

David Boder

You do not tremble for your life.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

We do not tremble for our lives, but we do not have the proper nourishment. We are undernourished. You have to know that five, six, seven years we were undernourished. Today we should be fed a little better, and we do not have it. Moreover, I am a man who has such a fortune in Eretz Yisroeil. I am sure I do not have to be a burden to anyone. Why must I have to suffer here?

David Boder

Nu, you will pay it back someday [that is, what you receive from charity]. You will give it back. You don't have to worry over it.

Pinkhus Rosenfeld

Nu, but in the meantime . . .

David Boder

Hm. And so, one has to view things from all sides. Maybe this little story will contribute a bit of truth to the whole situation. And so . . .

David Boder

[In English] HÃnonville, September the 13th, 1946, near Paris.