David P. Boder Interviews Robert Zeplit; September 21, 1946; München, Germany

var transcription = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] November the 2nd, 1949. A duplication for the United States Public Health Service. Spool 9-139B, the second part of spool 139 which we have called now 139A. Captain Zeplit study starts. At the beginning there are a few sentences spoken in Russian by a woman who apparently stepped into the interview room and we had to demonstrate the machine to her.

David Boder

Munich Germany, September the 21st 1946, in the Lohengrin camp occupied predominantly by [free?] Baltian gender population: Latvians, Estonians and Lithuanians. The interviewee is Mr. Robert Zeplit, a seaman who spent a long time in English speaking countries and therefore we are having the rare opportunity of to have an interview in English. Also, [giving Zeplit instructions] . . . will you turn around here. And talk in this direction in general. You don't have to directly . . .

David Boder

Will you tell us again what is your name, how old are you and where were you born.

Robert Zeplit

My name is Robert Zeplit. I was born in Latvia 1890 in January.

David Boder

In January 1890. So you are now about fifty-six years old?

Robert Zeplit

That's right sir.

David Boder

All right, what is your occupation Mr. Zeplit?

Robert Zeplit

I am ship's captain.

David Boder

You are a ship's captain? Are you a licensed ship's captain?

Robert Zeplit

Yes, sir.

David Boder

What kind of ships did you . . . lead? What kind of ships did you travel?

Robert Zeplit

I carried two captain's licenses, a Russian license and from 1912 . . . a Latvian captain's license.

David Boder

A Latvian? From 1912?

Robert Zeplit

1912.

David Boder

Were there already Latvian captains . . . ?

Robert Zeplit

No. There are times when the Latvian's was Russian citizens . . .

David Boder

Yes

Robert Zeplit

. . . and I finished the navigation school in 1912 . . .

David Boder

Where did you finish navigation school?

Robert Zeplit

Riga.

David Boder

Where?

Robert Zeplit

In Riga.

David Boder

Riga! [emphasis for pronunciation]

Robert Zeplit

Riga.

David Boder

Where you finished your navigation school in Riga and then got the captain certificate.

Robert Zeplit

Yes.

David Boder

All right let's see . . .

David Boder

Now, will you tell me now, Captain Zeplit, where were you when the war started and what happened to you since then?

Robert Zeplit

I was in the United States till . . . 1939, July month. I came back to Latvia to get my legal papers for entry in United States to become United States citizen.

David Boder

What for were you in the United Statesâwhat were you doing here?

Robert Zeplit

Well, I was working on ships as quartermaster [?], as boats-man and various other jobs.

David Boder

What kind of ships were you working on?

Robert Zeplit

City-service [unintelligible] . . . Sanitary Company [?], Gulf [intellible] Company and . . . Texas Company.

David Boder

And where were the ship going?

Robert Zeplit

From New York/Boston from north to south Texas

David Boder

Aha, they were running along the American shore.

Robert Zeplit

American shore, that's right.

David Boder

And why did you have to go back to Latvia to get your papers?

Robert Zeplit

Well I took my first papers in Jackson in Florida, 1923 but after three years I sign as second mate on a [Norwegian?] ship and that was the reason I lose my rights . . . my right to become a citizen.

David Boder

To become a citizen. And so you had to go back and start anew.

Robert Zeplit

Start from the new.

David Boder

All right, so you came in 1939 to Latvia. What was Latvia then?

Robert Zeplit

Latvia was independent country with its own president.

David Boder

The president was Ulmanis.

Robert Zeplit

Was Ulmanis.

David Boder

But there was no parliament in Latvia

Robert Zeplit

No, there was parliament.

David Boder

Well, didn't Ulmanis dismiss the parliament?

Robert Zeplit

Well, uh . . . I don't know because I was so many years away I don't know exactly how the Parliament was changing in Latvia but Ulmanis was the President and so far as I know there was . . . there was Parliament too. Parliament too . . .

David Boder

Wasn't Ulmanis just a dictator like any other dictator?

Robert Zeplit

No, he wasn't [bad?] dictator. But he took all the . . . businesses in his own hands and to . . . do all the . . .

David Boder

The administration himself.

Robert Zeplit

. . . administration by himself together with advisors.

David Boder

Uh huh.

David Boder

[Break in the wire] We had here a break in the wire. I am interviewing Captain Robert Zeplit and we are practically at the beginning of his story.

David Boder

Also, Captain Zeplit, you were telling me that you lost the . . . [value?] of your first - the first of your first papers - and so you had to go back to Latvia and start anew getting your Visa to the States.

Robert Zeplit

That's right.

David Boder

In what year was that?

Robert Zeplit

1939.

David Boder

All right, now go ahead. And what happened then?

Robert Zeplit

Well, I came to Latvia in 1939 just month and a half before the war broke out between Germany and Poland. I never heard since . . . they never . . . not let me out from Latvia.

David Boder

They don'tâdidn't let you go from Latvia?

Robert Zeplit

No.

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

And I was in Latvia until the day the Bolshevikii came . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

. . . until the last day when the Germans pushed me out.

David Boder

Uh-huh, well, tell me now how did the Russians (or the Soviets or the Bolsheviks what you call them) how did they come into Latvia? What happened then?

Robert Zeplit

Well, they . . . so much I know they come friendly the first days but after they start acting against the Latvian peopleâvery [harshly?]. In nineteen-the last what I see with my own eyes- in 1941, 14 June they was picking people during the nighttime took out from living quarters and loaded in trucks and sent to railroad station. And they was loaded in railroad stations for transportation in Russia.

David Boder

What for?

Robert Zeplit

Well, to guess, I don't know.

David Boder

Did some of these people come back?

Robert Zeplit

Not so far I know, I don't know.

David Boder

You don't know. And those were Latvians that they were loading in trucks.

Robert Zeplit

Latvians and uh . . . not all Latvians but there was uh . . . all the Latvian citizens there was . . . all the nation was what was in Latvia.

David Boder

. . . that were in Latvia. Well did they take rich people, did they take . . .

Robert Zeplit

No.

David Boder

. . . poor people, what kind of people did they take . . . ?

Robert Zeplit

That was surprise me because I heard that the Russians they were against the rich people but that time they was picking over the working classâworking class tooâmost of them. They were sent out from Latvia, 36,000 and I guess from this 36,000 there was most working class.

David Boder

Yes - there can't be 36,000 rich people in a small country like Latvia. Now tell me this . . . did they mistreat the people? Did they shoot any people? Did they . . . what did they do otherwise?

Robert Zeplit

They . . . some of them was shot in Latvia.

David Boder

Who were they?

Robert Zeplit

Nu. Who was in the police duty and one other . . . politiken . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

. . . and . . .

David Boder

What happened to Ulmanis?

Robert Zeplit

Well Ulmanis was . . . for a long time he was in his castle and the Russians kept guards and never let nobody go to him. After he was sent to Russia the last, what uh . . . I know he was in Crimea

David Boder

In Crimea. Now tell me this . . . there were Germans in Latvia weren't there? All kind of, all the barons and so on what happened to them?

Robert Zeplit

Well some of them were sent out and some not.

David Boder

Now tell me and then what? Latvia became a Soviet country?

Robert Zeplit

Well there was voting . . . to join the Soviet Union.

Robert Zeplit

But the voting was forced on the Latvian people.

David Boder

Now tell me thisâweren't there many Latvians that were Communists?

Robert Zeplit

Not many.

David Boder

Did there any Latvians come from Russia with the Soviets?

Robert Zeplit

Yes, many of them.

David Boder

Who were communists in Russia?

Robert Zeplit

Yeah.

David Boder

Uh huh. Tell me then, how long did it last? How long did the Bolsheviks run the country? What did they do? Did they . . . ? How did people work or son on? They didn't take you?

Robert Zeplit

No, my story is long.

David Boder

Well tell your story, we have time.

Robert Zeplit

When the Bolshevikii came here in Latvia, everyone was [write?] what he did and what education. Well sir, [what I brought showed?] I was in the United States for so many years and I had such and such education.

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

They never let me have a job.

David Boder

Why?

Robert Zeplit

Well I don't know because they was afraid, the Russians was afraid of people who see the . . . world.

David Boder

See what?

Robert Zeplit

See the world . . . nu. Who was in other countries.

David Boder

Oh, who have seen other countries who have seen the world

Robert Zeplit

Yes. So I get a job on a little tug boat as a captain . . .

David Boder

From the Russians?

Robert Zeplit

Latvians. [Worked well?] because the managers was Russians.

David Boder

Yes

Robert Zeplit

But I was suspect and somebody was always looking after me.

David Boder

Now so you got a job on a tug boat and what happened then?

Robert Zeplit

Well I'd been working on the tugboat till the day the Germans enterâthe Germans came (the 4th of July, 1941). But . . . 1941, 28 June, I get orders from the Russians, not me alone but all the ships captain's, go with ships to Russia.

David Boder

Where to?

Robert Zeplit

To PÃrnu.

David Boder

Oh. PÃrnu was Russia or Estonia?

Robert Zeplit

No, Estonia

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

But we received the orders for us to go to PÃrnu.

David Boder

What was the Russian name for PÃrnu?

Robert Zeplit

PÃrnu.

David Boder

And so? What did you do?

Robert Zeplit

Well I went with my ship on the sea together with other ships. At nighttimeâhalf past oneâI run on shore.

Robert Zeplit

The ship . . .

David Boder

On purpose?

Robert Zeplit

Yes. And I was eight days in the woods. I hide myself because I know when they gonna catch me I know what is going to happen with me.

David Boder

Yes, and the rest of the people on the ship?

Robert Zeplit

Saved . . .

David Boder

They run away with you.

Robert Zeplit

Run away with me. But I wasn't together with them; I was alone.

David Boder

Were they all Latvians?

Robert Zeplit

All Latvians.

David Boder

Yes. Nu. So you went eight days in the woods in Estonia. Then what happened?

Robert Zeplit

Then came the Germans

David Boder

That quick?

Robert Zeplit

Well that was . . . fourth . . . yeah.

David Boder

Oh, uh . . .

Robert Zeplit

1st . . . July . . . Germans came to Riga.

David Boder

That means you have told to go with the ships to Russia when the Russians and Germans already started fighting.

Robert Zeplit

Started . . . [unintelligible; talking over each other] . . .

David Boder

All right, so then . . . you . . . and in eight days came the Germans. Then what happened?

Robert Zeplit

Well, I came back to Riga.

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

In Riga I get job again on the riverboat as captain.

David Boder

From the Germans now?

Robert Zeplit

No they was Latvians.

David Boder

They were Latvians . . . for the start. Tell me what did the Germans do when they came to Latvia?

Robert Zeplit

Well, we expect it will be better but after they start out the same as the Russians did.

David Boder

What did they do?

Robert Zeplit

Well they force us to do such work we dislike and we never had free hands to pick out the job what kind of we want

David Boder

Yes. What did the Germans do with the Jews in that place?

Robert Zeplit

Well, they did the same what they did here in Germany.

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

They arrested them, sent to concentration camps. And telling the truth, there was many shot.

David Boder

Well many shotâdid any one remain alive?

Robert Zeplit

Oh yes.

David Boder

Now tell me then again . . .

David Boder

This is Spool 9-139B which has come as so often to an abrupt end because we were running these spool sometimes until the last inch of wire. The continuation is, if I'm not mistaken, on Spool 9-140. Boder. That can be checked from the index book. November the 1st, 1949. This is a reproduction for the U.S. Public Health Service.

Shirley Clifford

This is Spool 9-140A, a continuation of Spool 9-139B. Captain Zeplit. October 16th, 1950. Shirley Clifford.

David Boder

Munich, September the 21st 1946 at Lohengrin camp, a Latvian and Estonian camp of about two thousand people. The interviewee is Captain Robert Zeplit a seaman who lived in the United States for about sixteen years and we have the good opportunity to interview him in English.

David Boder

Also . . . um . . . Captain Zeplit you say that the cooperation of Germans with . . . [correction] the Latvians with the Germans was in most cases not voluntary.

Robert Zeplit

Not voluntary because Germans is old enemies for generations. But we was forced from both sides this small nation from one side from the Russians the other from the Germans. We wasn't able to do nothing what the Germans told us . . . was bound to do.

David Boder

Well, but, who managed the city who were the polizei?

Robert Zeplit

They was all Germans. Germans was the head ones but the Latvians was taken on the job as police and . . .

David Boder

. . . so on.

Robert Zeplit

. . . some in other place. Directions they get from Germans.

David Boder

All right, then what happened when the Germans stayed on? What happened to you?

Robert Zeplit

Well, I was captain on board a riverboat.

David Boder

On what river did the boat go?

Robert Zeplit

Dvina. Well, she was sea-going ship too. And uh . . .

David Boder

What was the name of the ship?

Robert Zeplit

âR' - the letter âR'. [?]

David Boder

âR?'

Robert Zeplit

âR.'

David Boder

Wasn't that all the [bottle-hulled?] ships with that letter âR?'

Robert Zeplit

No, the ship was built in Sweden special for . . . river service in Riga.

David Boder

All right and you . . .

Robert Zeplit

. . . I received orders from the Germans to prepare myself to go to Germany . . .

David Boder

When was that?

Robert Zeplit

. . . in 1944 in 1st October.

David Boder

Oh, that's from when the Russians came there.

Robert Zeplit

Yeah, when the Russians was . . .

David Boder

. . . coming near.

Robert Zeplit

About twenty, twenty-five kilometers from Riga.

David Boder

. . . from Riga, uh-huh. So they told you to prepare to go to Germany?

Robert Zeplit

Yes.

David Boder

All right, what did you do?

Robert Zeplit

Well, but I was bringing the ship over to somewhere else. So I never show [up?] on the ship for two days and the second night, half past one, German police was at my home, took me and my wife, and put in the car and bring me to the railroad station. They never told me what and what I can guess for what.

David Boder

Yes. What can you guessâwhat was it?

Robert Zeplit

Because I never show on the ship.

David Boder

Ah, because you didn't come to the ship. All right, so?

Robert Zeplit

So they sent me to [Liepāja?], we was guarded by 220 men.

David Boder

By the railroad . . . at the railroad.

Robert Zeplit

By the railroad.

David Boder

By what kind of cars did they ship you?

Robert Zeplit

In box cars.

David Boder

In the box carsâfreight cars. You know the American name for thatâin freight cars. 120 menâwas there only men or . . .

Robert Zeplit

No, there was women and children too.

David Boder

All Latvians?

Robert Zeplit

All Latvians.

David Boder

Yes, all right. From Riga to [Liepāja?] it isn't longâabout six hours?

Robert Zeplit

No. Within more about twelve hours because there wasn't the traffic so fast as . . .

David Boder

Did they give you something to eat?

Robert Zeplit

No. Not much. What we had with us . . .

David Boder

You had some provisions. Were you with your wife and children in the . . .

Robert Zeplit

No I have no children. I was only . . .

David Boder

Only with you wife.

Robert Zeplit

. . . with my wife.

David Boder

All right and so?

Robert Zeplit

So in [Liepāja?] we was in camp.

David Boder

Uh huh, for how long?

Robert Zeplit

Three dayâfour days. Four days. And then sent on a ship to Danzig. From Danzig we was loaded . . .

David Boder

How did you go on the shipâas passengers?

Robert Zeplit

Well the ship was crowded with people. About three thousand people was on the ship.

David Boder

And . . . what was the capacity of such a ship?

Robert Zeplit

Twelve thousandâtwelve to fifteen thousand . . . tons.

David Boder

Tons. Well that was a big ship.

Robert Zeplit

Big ship, yes.

David Boder

All right and where did they have you? On deck? In the cabin . . . ?

Robert Zeplit

No, we the 120 men was separate down below on the 'tween deck.

David Boder

Ah hah, from the others?

Robert Zeplit

Yes.

David Boder

And who were the other people on the ship?

Robert Zeplit

Well I don't know they were most pulled from Latvia and . . .

David Boder

Uh-huhâLatvian people . . .

David Boder

So the shipâwhere did the ship go?

Robert Zeplit

To Danzig

David Boder

All right, and what happened then?

Robert Zeplit

Well in Danzig, they sent us to [Stargard?]

David Boder

What's that?

Robert Zeplit

[Stargard?], a city in Germany [formerly Poland?].

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

I was . . . [cuts off]

David Boder

All right, in [Stargard?] what was . . .

Robert Zeplit

In [Stargard?] they put us the 120 men in concentration camp.

David Boder

Oh, yes.

Robert Zeplit

But the next day I was so lucky I get out through the gate in other long side was other camp.

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

And I went in other camp and managed to get through the gate.

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

So I took the train to check out from the German border to Czechoslovakia but there was Germansâsameâand I couldn't get living quarters, let to stay . . .

David Boder

Where?

Robert Zeplit

In Czechoslovakia.

David Boder

Oh, so you got out from Germany to Czechoslovakia? Did you buy ticket or what?

Robert Zeplit

I bought ticket, yeah, because I run out from the concentration camp

David Boder

and your wife?

Robert Zeplit

My wife too.

David Boder

You and your wife ran out? What language do you speak?

Robert Zeplit

Well, I can talk . . .

David Boder

German?

Robert Zeplit

. . . German.

David Boder

Ah-hah. So, nobody asked you anything, papers, nothing?

Robert Zeplit

No, through the gate I managed to get one passed through the gate from the other camp but through the gate from the concentration camp in the other camp . . .

David Boder

Yeah.

Robert Zeplit

. . . I went through the fence.

David Boder

Through the fence? Wasn't it an electric fence?

Robert Zeplit

No.

David Boder

No.

David Boder

You just went through. You and your wife?

Robert Zeplit

Yeah.

David Boder

Uh huh.

Robert Zeplit

We had a few suitcases with us and . . . at nighttime.

David Boder

Did anybody of the Nazis help you? Did you . . . ?

Robert Zeplit

Yes they did, Latvians from the other camp help me out.

David Boder

Oh, and the Latvians in the other camps were what? Watchmen?

Robert Zeplit

No. They was . . . I guess . . . refuge from . . .

David Boder

Refugees from Latvia . . .

Robert Zeplit

From Latvia.

David Boder

All right. And you managed to get away to Czechoslovakia? How many days did you travel to Czechoslovakia?

Robert Zeplit

About two and a half days.

David Boder

And nobody touched you on the train?

Robert Zeplit

No.

David Boder

All right. So you came to Czechoslovakia and then what did you do?

Robert Zeplit

I tried to get a job but I couldn't get . . .

David Boder

Well the Germans were in Czechoslovakia?

Robert Zeplit

Yes, the Germans was in Czechoslovakia.

David Boder

Did they ask you where you from?

Robert Zeplit

Yeah, I get arrested again in Czechoslovakia . . .

David Boder

Nu. And then . . . ?

Robert Zeplit

. . . and put me in a camp.

David Boder

Yes. With your wife?

Robert Zeplit

With my wife.

David Boder

And then?

Robert Zeplit

And from the camp they sent me to [Pishmiel?] they was a factory . . . a paper mill.

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

-as worker. And I was in that place till the liberation day. I was working as labor.

David Boder

Uh-huh. And who came to liberate you?

Robert Zeplit

Americans.

David Boder

The Americans did?

Robert Zeplit

The Americans did.

David Boder

All right. Now tell me about the last days before the liberation. What happened in the camp?

Robert Zeplit

Well there was all quiet. Because the Germans, the leaders, was long ago they disappeared.

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

So we was [lately?] in all quiet there wasn't fighting going around that place.

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

We was so happy . . . Then one morning about seven o'clock I guess it was. And I see the American troops came here.

David Boder

And then? What happened then?

Robert Zeplit

Well I was still working in the factory.

David Boder

Whose factory was it?

Robert Zeplit

That was Czechoslovakian factory.

David Boder

And they continued working with the Germans? They continued working with . . .

Robert Zeplit

Yeah, the Americans was therein and I was . . . integrated . . . [Boder speaking over] . . . Americans for the repair job.

David Boder

Uh-huh. What kind of a factory was it?

Robert Zeplit

Paper mill.

David Boder

A paper mill and you continued working?

Robert Zeplit

[I] continued working.

David Boder

All right. Well, didn't the . . . weren't the engineers and the others, weren't they Germans?

Robert Zeplit

No, the Germans was but during week time there came Czechs and the Germans get arrested, one other arrested and one other . . . gritty job and I don't know how the change was but in short time the factory was in Czech hands.

David Boder

All right. And so how long were you staying in Czechoslovakia?

Robert Zeplit

I stay until it was July . . . in August month. I came to this Lohengrin camp, the Americans sent me out from Czechoslovakia the twenty . . . no, the 6th September.

David Boder

Of what year?

Robert Zeplit

Last year.

David Boder

A year ago?

Robert Zeplit

Year ago.

David Boder

And now you are already a year in Lohengrin camp?

Robert Zeplit

That's right.

David Boder

Uh-huh. And your wife is with you?

Robert Zeplit

My wife is with me.

David Boder

Tell me something about Lohengrin camp. What kind of a camp is it?

Robert Zeplit

Well, I'm used to this place, we do our work . . . [break in tape -- begins again in German but soon switches to English]

David Boder

. . . well and here you are a year. Tell me something about the camp. Who lives here and how do they live here?

Robert Zeplit

Well, they are living here Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians and some of them Russians what do they call "Staad-in-laws" [?]. Well, I like this camp very well . . .

David Boder

Now how do you live here? Now for instance you are with the Latvians. Are you in barracks or in rooms?

Robert Zeplit

We are in the . . . soldier barracks.

David Boder

Yes, and . . .

Robert Zeplit

We have separateânot separate rooms but in each room we are living about from six to ten people.

David Boder

Men and women together?

Robert Zeplit

Men and women together.

David Boder

And how do you separate the families?

Robert Zeplit

Well they separate under sections. They put kind of cardboard between your section and so they are separate not in the voice but in the eyes we cannot see each other.

David Boder

In the voice . . . [laughing] In the voice you are together but . . .

Robert Zeplit

. . . in the eyes we are separate

David Boder

Now tell me how do people really live husband and wife of one family and another family in one room?

Robert Zeplit

Well, our situation is very difficult to explain to people who have never been in such a life but we are satisfied and we believe there will come some day we go back to our real life.

David Boder

Now what do you . . .

Robert Zeplit

We have a patient to wait for we get orders go back to our free Latvia or where we gonna be sent.

David Boder

Well is Latvia now Russia again?

Robert Zeplit

No.

David Boder

What is it?

Robert Zeplit

This Russians are only occupied in Lativa but nobody recognized the occupation so far I know from the papers.

David Boder

You think America has not recognized the occupation of Latvia by the Russians?

Robert Zeplit

Till now, no.

David Boder

Well, and if Latvia . . .

Robert Zeplit

Not publicly.

David Boder

No, it isn't finished there was no peace treaty. So you think that there is a chance that Latvia will become again independent?

Robert Zeplit

All can chance can be.

David Boder

All right. Don't you plan to go to America?

Robert Zeplit

I will be the gladdest man in the world when I will get the day closer when I go back across the ocean to[old?] United States because no country in this world is so . . . good for a working man and for living conditions as United States.

David Boder

All right are you trying to get an affidavit?

Robert Zeplit

Yes.

David Boder

To whom have you written? Well I was in Linsdt but it's long ago and the first day when the Americans came . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Robert Zeplit

And now I gonna wait to the day when they gonna tell us that it's impossible to . . . go to Latvia.

David Boder

Yes, and then?

Robert Zeplit

Then I will go spend my last days from my life, if I will have the chance, in the United States.

David Boder

Well do you have relatives in the United States? Do you have friends there?

Robert Zeplit

No.

David Boder

Well you worked for Standard Oil, didn't you?

Robert Zeplit

I worked for City Service Oil Company, Standard Oil Texas Company and I was for four and half years in [Aronimink?] Gulf Club.

David Boder

Golf . . .

Robert Zeplit

Golf club. It's twenty miles . . .

David Boder

What is it a Golf club?

Robert Zeplit

Yes.

David Boder

What were you doing there?

Robert Zeplit

Well I was engineer and I was watchman on . . . all kind of work.

David Boder

Well don't you remember any people who knew you there?

Robert Zeplit

I remember very well.

David Boder

Couldn't you write to them?

Robert Zeplit

I can write but I don't think the people can help me much in this situation we are now DPs.

David Boder

Why couldn't they help you?

Robert Zeplit

Well . . .

David Boder

You worked on American ships, you were sixteen years in America, there should be a way, you speak the language. Does your wife speak English?

Robert Zeplit

No.

David Boder

No. Where did you marry? In Latvia?

Robert Zeplit

I married 1942.

David Boder

Oh, you married that late in life.

Robert Zeplit

That late.

David Boder

Well Captain Zeplit that was a very important and valuable story you have told me. I would like to talk yet to other Latvians if we have time. I hope you get somehow settled in Latvia or in the States. Anything you want to say yet more?

Robert Zeplit

Well, maybe somebody in United States will listen this then remember old "Bob" especially in Aronimink Golf Club and maybe these . . .

David Boder

In what city was that golf club?

Robert Zeplit

In Philadelphia, twenty miles south from Philadelphia.

David Boder

What was the name of the Golf Club?

Robert Zeplit

Aronimink.

David Boder

Aronimink?

Robert Zeplit

Aronimink.

David Boder

Who were the members of this?

Robert Zeplit

Many . . . Michael O'Connor.

David Boder

[mumbling] golf club. Michael O'Conner.

Robert Zeplit

Michael, that's what they called him, Michael . . .

David Boder

O-Conner.

Robert Zeplit

O'Conner.

David Boder

All right. Yes. Nu, go ahead.

Robert Zeplit

And if somebody as I told, somebody gonna hear this they remember old Bob and maybe some days we gonna see again.

David Boder

All right, old Bob . . . Thank you very much Captain Zeplit, this concludes at fourteen minutes the interview with Captain Robert Zeplit which we started twenty minutes of spool 139. Lohengrin camp for displaced Baltics, Munich, Germany September 21, 1946.

David Boder

This concludes transcription Spool 9-140A Captain Zeplit. 9-140B will . . . [break in tape] . . . to 9-141 the interview with Mrs. Anna Paul given in the book as Anna Prest for there is so much to tell. Boder.