David P. Boder Interviews Toba Schiver; September 2, 1946; Tradate, Italy

  • David Boder: [In English] Italy, September 2nd, Tradate. A little community of displaced people living in a old castle which later was a convent and then a armory between Milano and Como. Uh, there is a number of community of kibbutzim that are co-operative groups of specially young people that have gotten together, mostly young people who have lost all their whole family and could not, did not feel, or could not stay in their place where their families were, uh, perished. They are roaming through Europe and form various groups, leaving homes, cross borders illegally, and here is a, uh, group that entered Italy and is being supported by the UNRRA and by the Joint. Uh, the interviewee is now, uh, Miss Toba Schiver, uh, 22 years old, born in Czechoslovakia.
  • David Boder: [In German] Well, Miss, are you mar-, are you married?
  • Toba Schiver: No.
  • David Boder: Yes. Well, Miss Schiver. Would you tell me again what your full name is, where were you born and how old are you?
  • Toba Schiver: Born in Czechoslovakia.
  • David Boder: [Interrupts] Speak up and slow down. You were born in Czech-
  • Toba Schiver: [Interrupts] in Czechoslovakia. Born '22.
  • David Boder: Yes. Uh, what, and you are 22 years old?
  • Toba Schiver: Old.
  • David Boder: Old. Well, tell me. Where were you when the war began, and what has happened to you and with your family? At the time the war began.
  • Toba Schiver: Well. Once, dro-, uh, driven to, uh, Mátészalka. In ghetto.
  • David Boder: Now then, wait a minute. Did the Germans enter your place?
  • Toba Schiver: No. Hungarians.
  • David Boder: No?
  • Toba Schiver: Hungarians to-, took us. In Mátészalka . . . .
  • David Boder: You were?
  • Toba Schiver: in ghetto. This first together.
  • David Boder: So you were in Czechoslovakia. How did you get to Hungary?
  • Toba Schiver: That, that we were in Czechoslovakia and, uh, later came to Hungary for six years.
  • David Boder: When?
  • Toba Schiver: Hungary. For six years we were in Hungary.
  • David Boder: And [unintelligible]. No, no, no.
  • Toba Schiver: Czechoslovakia. Six years we were in Hungary.
  • David Boder: That is, uh, the Hungarians annexed you?
  • Toba Schiver: Annexed.
  • David Boder: So that's it. That was a place in Czechoslovakia, which when the, uh, when they started, the Hungarians annexed from the Czechs.
  • Toba Schiver: Yes
  • David Boder: Yes. Well, what happened? A ghetto was created?
  • Toba Schiver: A ghetto in Mátészalka.
  • David Boder: In Mátészalka a ghetto was created. So tell me, when did they declare it a ghetto and how were you taken to the ghetto
  • Toba Schiver: They began to confine the people in a ghetto and [unintelligible] camp. And, uh, they were together four weeks.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: Later, they did a roll call and made the whole family, uh, took them, all things and led everyone away to Auschwitz.
  • David Boder: Who? The whole family?
  • Toba Schiver: Whole family.
  • David Boder: There were no selections who should stay?
  • Toba Schiver: No, no. [Unintelligible]
  • David Boder: [Unintelligible] What wa-, was a family, who were part of it. Father, mother?
  • Toba Schiver: Father, mother, sister.
  • David Boder: One sister?
  • Toba Schiver: One sister. Bro-, brother in army.
  • David Boder: The brother was in the Czech army.
  • Toba Schiver: Czech army.
  • David Boder: Yes. Now go on. So you came to where?
  • Toba Schiver: To Auschwitz.
  • David Boder: Now then, how many days did your journey to Auschwitz take?
  • Toba Schiver: Four days. None, one bread had four days, one man.
  • David Boder: Yes? Well, and?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible]. Until Karshow we accom- the Hungarians. After Karshow too-, uh, was taken over by the Germans.
  • David Boder: By the SS?
  • Toba Schiver: The SS.
  • David Boder: Or the Wehrmacht?
  • Toba Schiver: The SS.
  • David Boder: The SS took it over?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Well?
  • Toba Schiver: And later came to, uh, to Auschwitz. One saw already the camp, the big fire.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: and did everything, yes. [Unintelligible] in the railway cars . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: and one was divided, old people, sick people, young people separate.
  • David Boder: Well, how was your family divided?
  • Toba Schiver: My family have come older father and I went together with my mother. Told the SS that my mother ca-, mother can, can, cannot walk, you go separate.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: Took me wi-, separate . . .
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Toba Schiver: and my sister together.
  • David Boder: Your sister was older or younger?
  • Toba Schiver: Younger, with one year [Note: she means "by one year"].
  • David Boder: With one year. But, wait, you went four days?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: What kind of car did they give you?
  • Toba Schiver: Uh . . .
  • David Boder: Uh, were they cars for passengers with seats, with benches?
  • Toba Schiver: No, not at all, sat on the floor.
  • David Boder: You sat on the floor.
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: How many people were there in a carriage?
  • Toba Schiver: Seventy people.
  • David Boder: Seventy people in a carriage. Men and women together?
  • Toba Schiver: Men and women and children together.
  • David Boder: Well, did they sto- the car, did it stop, if people had to go out?
  • Toba Schiver: No he, uh, a, uh [unintelligible]
  • David Boder: A, what uh?
  • Toba Schiver: A, uh,
  • David Boder: A pot?
  • Toba Schiver: a pot.
  • David Boder: Yes, and?
  • Toba Schiver: They always sent it around.
  • David Boder: And that was always thrown out.
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Well, go on? So you came, the father was ta-, uh, taken separate and the mother.
  • Toba Schiver: Taken separate, the mother separate and my sister together I was taken with.
  • David Boder: [Interrupts: unintelligible]
  • Toba Schiver: I stayed in a labor camp.
  • David Boder: You and your sister stayed in a labor camp?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes. And the sis-, the, the father also in labor camp.
  • David Boder: In work-camp.
  • Toba Schiver: But the mother in crematorium.
  • David Boder: Do you know that for certain?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes. We saw in, uh, a, uh, grandmother driven in a black car together.
  • David Boder: What? Your grandmother?
  • Toba Schiver: My grandmother.
  • David Boder: Your mother and grandmother were taken away . . .
  • Toba Schiver: Taken aw-
  • David Boder: and you never once heard from them again?
  • Toba Schiver: No.
  • David Boder: No.
  • Toba Schiver: We saw that when that was burned.
  • David Boder: What does that mean, you saw it?
  • Toba Schiver: [raises her voice] We saw in crematorium, it go in the crematorium.
  • David Boder: [disbelieving] Yes, but you certainly did not see that your mother was?
  • Toba Schiver: Not my mother. But that is certain.
  • David Boder: Yes, Well go on?
  • Toba Schiver: My father went to the other side he saw that I have no mother [unintelligible]. He said [unintelligible] . . .
  • David Boder: What?
  • Toba Schiver: [raises her voice] my, my father.
  • David Boder: said
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] He, we wanted to meet . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: Then I wouldn't be in the crematorium. [Inaudible sentence].
  • David Boder: Why, your father had gone to work, hadn't he?
  • Toba Schiver: To work, but he saw that we didn't together, when, we together with my mother.
  • David Boder: I see.
  • Toba Schiver: You understand?
  • David Boder: Well, tell me, they took you into the camp there?
  • Toba Schiver: We to the camp.
  • David Boder: What happened there?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] camp [unintelligible] a, a, a transport.
  • David Boder: Speak a little bit louder.
  • Toba Schiver: And, uh, they undressed us [unintelligible] the whole, they gave me [unintelligible] shaved off the hair.
  • David Boder: Who did that?
  • Toba Schiver: Older [Note: She might be talking about the camp elders here].
  • David Boder: Men or women?
  • Toba Schiver: Men.
  • David Boder: Men shaved off your hair after they undressed?
  • Toba Schiver: Un-, uh, undressed the hair.
  • David Boder: I see. And [TS interrupts: unintelligible] hair was shaved only off the head?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: But tell me that is something you have to know!
  • Toba Schiver: No, the hair from everywhere.
  • David Boder: And men did that?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Well what kind of, what did they have, scissors, knives?
  • Toba Schiver: They had sci-, scissors.
  • David Boder: Wasn't it prisoners who did it?
  • Toba Schiver: No, older did that.
  • David Boder: Uh, did they talk while they were doing it?
  • Toba Schiver: Not at all. There is nothing you can do, would beat you right away that [unintelligible] undress.
  • David Boder: I see. Well, what happened then?
  • Toba Schiver: Later they [unintelligible] bathe . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: and got long dresses and [unintelligible], we looked like, like, uh, no longer human. [Unintelligible] I saw my sister, and she stood next to me. I didn't recognize her.
  • David Boder: I see?
  • Toba Schiver: People, I saw many people [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Yes. They did not give you manly clothes, no manly clothes?
  • Toba Schiver: Not only long clothes, uh, gave a-, torn clothes . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: and, after, uh, [unintelligible], after the roll call [unintelligible] led into, in a block.
  • David Boder: What is a roll call, what is it?
  • Toba Schiver: Up-, counting the people.
  • David Boder: Yes, well?
  • Toba Schiver: and the roll call takes until as long, a roll call takes two hours.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And led us in a block [unintelligible], in a block.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: Oh, in five meters, maybe fifteen people slept.
  • David Boder: Fifteen people slept in five-?
  • Toba Schiver: Fifteen, uh, five meters.
  • David Boder: In five meters square?
  • Toba Schiver: Sat rather than . . .
  • David Boder: Oh, you only sat?
  • Toba Schiver: sat.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Toba Schiver: Because you couldn't sleep.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And you . . .
  • David Boder: [Interrupts] You couldn't lie down?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes. And after one ha-, arrived no- giv-, no-, day no food.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And after we slept the whole night and we two at night woken up to roll call. Each day from two to nine o'clock were led to roll call.
  • David Boder: From two to nine o'clock in the morning [unintelligible] roll call. Why that long, why [unintelligible]?
  • Toba Schiver: Why, uh, were, uh, many roll call, were many people, and the whole camp [unintelligible], was entire Auschwitz [unintelligible] to roll call [unintelligible] get up, a lot of people, millions of men, uh, women, uh, people.
  • David Boder: Thousands of people.
  • Toba Schiver: Thousands of people.
  • David Boder: Well, go on, and who were the block elders?
  • Toba Schiver: The, uh, block elders were Polish and Slovak Jews [unintelligible] Jews.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: The elder had been there long [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Men or women?
  • Toba Schiver: Women men.
  • David Boder: Women and men?
  • Toba Schiver: We had women.
  • David Boder: Uh, Jewish-Polish woman [unintelligible]?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes. The, uh, the, uh, only the elder came every day to tell us what we should do.
  • David Boder: Yes, well, how did they behave, the, uh, block elder?
  • Toba Schiver: Very nice [Note: possibly she says "very not good"], good. They took food from people, what one had to eat, they took . . .
  • David Boder: Why, what did they do with it?
  • Toba Schiver: [unintelligible] he beat then.
  • David Boder: The Jewish women were beating the Jewish girls?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, this block elder. [Unintelligible] an old woman. They said my mother always used to beat me, I beat because of roll call, I beat because of food and [unintelligible] because of drink, always beat.
  • David Boder: What do you mean they hit, with what did they hit?
  • Toba Schiver: With what, with the hands, with anything. They [unintelligible] also beat me.
  • David Boder: Who, a woman [unintelligible] beat you?
  • Toba Schiver: A woman.
  • David Boder: A Jewish woman?
  • Toba Schiver: One of the SS who had been here in the camp for ten years.
  • David Boder: An SS woman?
  • Toba Schiver: An SS woman.
  • David Boder: For what did she do it?
  • Toba Schiver: For nothing at all. [Unintelligible] With wood she hit at me, for nothing!
  • David Boder: Well, go on?
  • Toba Schiver: Well, what?
  • David Boder: Well, the, uh . . .
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, yes right, we sadly saw the, uh, crematoriums the whole night, burned [unintelligible] the whole night.
  • David Boder: Uh, what did they look like, the crematoriums? What did they look like burning? What was it, chimneys, uh?
  • Toba Schiver: I don't know about that.
  • David Boder: But, I mean, where did you see the fire?
  • Toba Schiver: They weren't far from us.
  • David Boder: Not far.
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: It's fed by [unintelligible]?
  • Toba Schiver: Fed by [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Well, were those the same as in the camp?
  • Toba Schiver: These people [unintelligible] my mother. They said [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Yes, yes well, what?
  • Toba Schiver: These women, [unintelligible] they made the coffins. [unintelligible] towels [unintelligible]. We thought the water, then comes the gas.
  • David Boder: Gas. Well?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] gas they burnt the people.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: [sighs heavily]
  • David Boder: Well, how did, how long did that take, that was in Auschwitz, yes?
  • Toba Schiver: We were in Auschwitz for nine weeks.
  • David Boder: Nine weeks? And you worked there?
  • Toba Schiver: Didn't work, still, very bad that we in, yes. We were allowed to drink water.
  • David Boder: [interrupts: unintelligible].
  • Toba Schiver: Those who drank got, uh, bleeding in, uh, in the mouth.
  • David Boder: Why?
  • Toba Schiver: It had, no good water.
  • David Boder: I see, you get blood in the mouth, then?
  • Toba Schiver: Not good. The climate.
  • David Boder: The climate was not good. And you suffered from blood in the mouth because of the water. How do you get blood in the mouth from the water? Did it swell, or what?
  • Toba Schiver: No. You cannot eat, or very seldom, cannot drink, all that.
  • David Boder: Yes, well?
  • Toba Schiver: And the sun is also not good. From the sun you get blusters [Note: in the German, she uses a word that contains a wrong vowel as well] on the hand and feet.
  • David Boder: The sun?
  • Toba Schiver: The sun was not good. Got blusters.
  • David Boder: Blisters on the hands and on the feet. Go on?
  • Toba Schiver: And, uh, we got a, uh, roll call again that they needed people.
  • David Boder: Yes? [Unintelligible]
  • Toba Schiver: To [unintelligible], away, uh, from Auschwitz away.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: They were taken to Geislingen.
  • David Boder: How were they selected, who was taken?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes. Twice, but three times [unintelligible], uh, always saw doctor. He had a, had a small dog [the dog part is a bit uncertain], drove back.
  • David Boder: What did they do with them?
  • Toba Schiver: Pardon?
  • David Boder: What did they do with them?
  • Toba Schiver: They remained in Auschwitz, I don't know anything else.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Yes, well did they, did they take you?
  • Toba Schiver: They took me with my sister. Always saw my sister, families together.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And a transport, they washed us down, we were [unintelligible] and we were given new clothes and ta-
  • David Boder: What do you mean, "new clothes"?
  • Toba Schiver: Different clothes.
  • David Boder: Different clothes.
  • Toba Schiver: and were taken to Geisingen.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And after Geislin-, Geisingen . . .
  • David Boder: [Interrupts] how many days did it take to go to Geisingen?
  • Toba Schiver: Three days.
  • David Boder: And, uh, how is it with, did you come the same way, in the same way you came to Auschwitz?
  • Toba Schiver: No, . . . .
  • David Boder: How?
  • Toba Schiver: differently.
  • David Boder: But how many people were there in a car?
  • Toba Schiver: Eighty people.
  • David Boder: Eighty people!
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Yes. Men and women together?
  • Toba Schiver: No, not always just me-, women.
  • David Boder: Were only women. Well, go on?
  • Toba Schiver: And we got a quarter of bread each day . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: and a little bit of margarine.
  • David Boder: Yes.
  • Toba Schiver: And then, when we left for, uh, Geisingen, when we got a bed [unintelligible],
  • David Boder: [Unintelligible]
  • Toba Schiver: a towel and a bowl for eating, a spoon [unintelligible], in Auschwitz we had no spoon, nothing.
  • David Boder: How did you eat in Auschwitz?
  • Toba Schiver: From one bowl were eating five people.
  • David Boder: And how, without a spoon?
  • Toba Schiver: Without a spoon [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Did people eat?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: But how did you eat, five people? How do five people eat?
  • Toba Schiver: No [unintelligible] drank [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Drank, you sipped, yes?
  • Toba Schiver: No spoon didn't see.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] to Geisingen we got a, uh, spoon and, uh, knife [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Well?
  • Toba Schiver: Well, we did no- work for four weeks. Saw how old and weak were the people.
  • David Boder: Alright, tell me again. Now for four weeks you didn't work and they [unintelligible] the people to rest. Yes. And they, how did they behave? Did they treat you in a better way?
  • Toba Schiver: Good. Better than in Auschwitz.
  • David Boder: Who were the block elders?
  • Toba Schiver: Block elder Christian.
  • David Boder: Christian. Were you beaten?
  • Toba Schiver: Beaten as well, but simply better than in Auschwitz.
  • David Boder: [Laughs] Beaten better. [Unintelligible] Behaved better?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Well, go on?
  • Toba Schiver: And later, after, uh, four weeks we dro-, uh, went into the, uh, ordnance factory.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: In day-shift, night-shift. Worked twelve hours.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: Were very heavy machines, these different ammunitions.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: [several words unintelligible] got to eat [unintelligible]. And, uh
  • David Boder: Well, how long did that take?
  • Toba Schiver: One years.
  • David Boder: One year.
  • Toba Schiver: In Geisingen.
  • David Boder: In Geisingen.
  • Toba Schiver: And always [unintelligible] Americans [unintelligible] Russians [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: You were taken somewhere else from Geisingen?
  • Toba Schiver: Taken to, to, uh, Allach.
  • David Boder: Yes? Were there selections in Geisingen?
  • Toba Schiver: I don't know.
  • David Boder: Did they separate the weak and the sick?
  • Toba Schiver: That, well the pregnant women.
  • David Boder: The pregnant?
  • Toba Schiver: Pregnant women ta-, taken away once more to Auschwitz.
  • David Boder: [aghast] Oh, the pregnant women went away from?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, to Auschwitz.
  • David Boder: Yes, well?
  • Toba Schiver: And the, the sick naturally have died.
  • David Boder: There? Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: No [unintelligible] the "Revier".
  • David Boder: What do you mean, at the "Revier"? Did they simply die naturally, or what?
  • Toba Schiver: No. They, uh, weren't given any medicine, they were sick, they were died.
  • David Boder: I see. Well?
  • Toba Schiver: Taken to Allach. [Unintelligible] Jewish men.
  • David Boder: Where?
  • Toba Schiver: Men, together with the men. But with the [unintelligible]. Been two weeks in Germany [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: What was it ca-, was the place called, Allach?
  • Toba Schiver: Allach.
  • David Boder: I see.
  • Toba Schiver: And, uh, then, uh, be-, uh, beaten [unintelligible] . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: and he ha-, uh, beaten us [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Yes, pardon?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Yes, go on? Speak up a little.
  • Toba Schiver: And, uh, we drove like that to, uh. No, uh [unintelligible] given no food. Drove ten days in, uh,
  • David Boder: railway car.
  • Toba Schiver: railway car, they did [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible]. They beat us for ten days . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: in the car and no food and always beat us.
  • David Boder: Now, wait a minute. How do you make it through ten days in a car without food?
  • Toba Schiver: Many died.
  • David Boder: [disbelieving] And you really did not eat?
  • Toba Schiver: We once got a small piece of bread.
  • David Boder: Well. And your sister was with you?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, always together.
  • David Boder: That is, once a day or once in these ten days?
  • Toba Schiver: Once a day, o-, but, o- such a little [unintelligible] that is such a little.
  • David Boder: [In English] She shows a piece of a few inches square.
  • Toba Schiver: [In German] And then . . .
  • David Boder: Well?
  • Toba Schiver: Suddenly, there comes an, uh, American of, uh, well an American perhaps, of the Red Cross and he gives us a small package, a package [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: I see. An America-, a man of the Red Cross and he gave a small package [unintelligible]. A small package to each?
  • Toba Schiver: Each a small package and for each one, perhaps two kilos in it, one kilo.
  • David Boder: What was inside?
  • Toba Schiver: Milk, and then, uh, canned meat, chocolate, and, uh, soap, cigarettes, and, uh, butter, . . .
  • David Boder: I see, uh
  • Toba Schiver: and cane of sugar.
  • David Boder: What sort of milk, milk-pul-, milk, uh, -powder?
  • Toba Schiver: Powder.
  • David Boder: Did they give water to, uh, mix with it?
  • Toba Schiver: We had that already, water we could.
  • David Boder: That was still with the Germans?
  • Toba Schiver: With the Germans.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And the SS-man that many received the order [unintelligible], so that the 3000 men, 3000 people should, should many in, uh, in forest shoot us out.
  • David Boder: Uh, who told you that? [Unintelligible].
  • Toba Schiver: We saw that. We saw that.
  • David Boder: Saw what? The order?
  • Toba Schiver: Order. Saw it.
  • David Boder: What, did he write it down, you read it, yes?
  • Toba Schiver: Became free ourselves.
  • David Boder: Oh, you, you were freed?
  • Toba Schiver: He showed it to me.
  • David Boder: He showed it.
  • Toba Schiver: Of the SS.
  • David Boder: Yes and why did he show it [unintelligible]?
  • Toba Schiver: No and later on another day we hear shooting and the Americans arrived. Stayed in the car. Then it was said that we should close the car, what to do everything with the many, uh, car?
  • David Boder: You mean what?
  • Toba Schiver: The, uh, SS closed the, no, each car eighty people . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: and two SS had stayed in each car.
  • David Boder: In the car!
  • Toba Schiver: In the car. Two SS.
  • David Boder: Together with the free people?
  • Toba Schiver: With the free people.
  • David Boder: Well?
  • Toba Schiver: Always two SS.
  • David Boder: Oh, so also while driving?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, it was always, always
  • David Boder: Always two SS?
  • Toba Schiver: Always. They didn't tell us [Unintelligible] and all SS took out the, well these emblems, that they are with the SS, the uh
  • David Boder: Took off their SS emblems.
  • Toba Schiver: Did nothing, said nothing else, but we did see that [unintelligible]. Und suddenly we hear the shooting.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And [unintelligible] so we closed the cars. They shouldn't [unintelligible] the clothes . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: the [unintelligible] clothes.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And received an, uh, order [unintelligible]. We were very afraid, hung up a dress on the car.
  • David Boder: From the outside?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, that we are prisoners.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And suddenly, came an, uh, an American and were freed.
  • David Boder: Well, were arrested?
  • Toba Schiver: No. And all SS [unintelligible], like this . . .
  • David Boder: Raised the hands.
  • Toba Schiver: raised the hands. And he had shown this scrap of paper, that there comes an order that he should shoot them out. That's why he left free.
  • David Boder: What?
  • Toba Schiver: Left free, the SS [Note: In German, it is clear that by "the SS" she means only that one SS person].
  • David Boder: The SS was freed?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Because he didn't the
  • Toba Schiver: Jews, uh
  • David Boder: didn't, uh, kill the Jews.
  • Toba Schiver: Killed. But the others all killed.
  • David Boder: Who?
  • Toba Schiver: The SS. The Americans.
  • David Boder: Did they shoot?
  • Toba Schiver: Shot. [Inaudible, TS and DB speaking simultaneously]
  • David Boder: The Americans shot the SS?
  • Toba Schiver: The SS.
  • David Boder: And the man, who had the letter, was what, the commander [unintelligible]
  • Toba Schiver: Who commanded that the 3000, uh, people [unintelligible] in the cars should be shot out.
  • David Boder: I see.
  • Toba Schiver: Killed.
  • David Boder: And you saw how the Americans shot the SS?
  • Toba Schiver: The SS.
  • David Boder: Did the SS say anything, did they beg [unintelligible]?
  • Toba Schiver: Not at all [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: I see. Well?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] apartment, to eat, but we, they did nothing for us.
  • David Boder: What?
  • Toba Schiver: The Americans did nothing for us.
  • David Boder: I see, What did they?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] we did by ourselves, alone.
  • David Boder: What did they do, what did you do?
  • Toba Schiver: The people, the Americans went away from us.
  • David Boder: [Interrupts] and you?
  • Toba Schiver: We stayed alone. [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: [Interrupts] Well, what did you do then?
  • Toba Schiver: Some people went alone to supply themselves with food, but there were a lot who didn't [unintelligible], provide accommodation, the Americans, heard they gave people clothes [unintelligible] had by themselves, took by themselves [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: And what did they take? From where did you take?
  • Toba Schiver: From the German apartments.
  • David Boder: From the German. You went into the houses?
  • Toba Schiver: And took.
  • David Boder: Yes. Were the Germans at home, uh, the people?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: And what did they say?
  • Toba Schiver: Nothing at all. Were always crying.
  • David Boder: The Germans were crying.
  • Toba Schiver: Yes. That they're not guilty. It was the SS who did that. Were not guilty.
  • David Boder: But you took what you could.
  • Toba Schiver: No, took, but I did not take. I always thought that my parents [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: You always what?
  • Toba Schiver: Thought that my parents did not think, [corrects herself] did not take.
  • David Boder: You did not take. And your sister was with you?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, together.
  • David Boder: Well, go on?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] two weeks and were freed in Staltach
  • David Boder: In Stahldach?
  • Toba Schiver: Staltach.
  • David Boder: Stalbach?
  • Toba Schiver: Staltach.
  • David Boder: Staltach. Well?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] we stayed there four weeks. We waited there to a Czech transporter [unintelligible] and we could drive a lot.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And at once drove to Feldafing.
  • David Boder: Feldafing?
  • Toba Schiver: Feldafing. And there we then drove with Czech, Czech transport people. I had, I had a dress, I came with a pajama . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: To Czechia.
  • David Boder: Without a dress?
  • Toba Schiver: Without a dress [unintelligible], I didn't have one.
  • David Boder: And you didn't, why didn't you take from the Germans?
  • Toba Schiver: I couldn't.
  • David Boder: And your sister?
  • Toba Schiver: Sister couldn't either.
  • David Boder: Well?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] came home, no- met my father, only a brother.
  • David Boder: What?
  • Toba Schiver: Czech army. A brother.
  • David Boder: Yes, but the father you didn-
  • Toba Schiver: Didn't see. Died.
  • David Boder: And the brother returned home from?
  • Toba Schiver: He went in the army, Czech. From the Czech army.
  • David Boder: Did you, where did you find him?
  • Toba Schiver: In Czechia. In Prague.
  • David Boder: Oh, was he there?
  • Toba Schiver: Was he there.
  • David Boder: And he was a soldier there?
  • Toba Schiver: He was a soldier.
  • David Boder: Now, go on?
  • Toba Schiver: Well, after we came together we took a, an apartment. Came [unintelligible] in Ukraine . . .
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: to Ukraine.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: Family wanted to stay there. Did no- want to go to Prague.
  • David Boder: Yes. They didn't want to go to Prague?
  • Toba Schiver: Not stay at home [unintelligible] Ukraine. [Unintelligible]
  • David Boder: [Unintelligible]
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] no- wanted to go back.
  • David Boder: They didn't want to go back.
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: What?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: You must be more precise. You came home to your ow-, own little town?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, but you couldn't go back in the, uh, house there.
  • David Boder: If you own the house?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Was it your own house?
  • Toba Schiver: Our own farm. Our own farm. We had eight houses there.
  • David Boder: You had eight houses?
  • Toba Schiver: But, but Ukraine, Ukraine that is kolkhoz. You can't lose that. That is not mine but of the whole state.
  • David Boder: I see. Ukraine turned communist.
  • Toba Schiver: Communist. That I go to Ukraine [unintelligible]. My brother [unintelligible] in Prague.
  • David Boder: Yes, well?
  • Toba Schiver: And so I went to my brother.
  • David Boder: You together with your sister?
  • Toba Schiver: My sister and I, always together with my sister. We drove together to Prague and there we met my brother.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: And he [unintelligible]
  • David Boder: How did you meet, where did you find it?
  • Toba Schiver: In Prague.
  • David Boder: Yes, did you know an address?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, he had sent us an address from, from home. He didn't kno-, know where that address is.
  • David Boder: Yes?
  • Toba Schiver: He [unintelligible]
  • David Boder: Yes, well?
  • Toba Schiver: and so we to-, took an apartment and three people lived there. Brother, sister [unintelligible]. And later we worked in a chocolate factory.
  • David Boder: Chocolate factory at the Czech?
  • Toba Schiver: At the Czech. Very a good life was there.
  • David Boder: Well, and then? Why, how, when did you decide to go away?
  • Toba Schiver: We decided when it was said that you can't, uh, stay, that Russian Jews can't stay in Czechia.
  • David Boder: Oh, who said that? The Czechs?
  • Toba Schiver: They said.
  • David Boder: Well, but not officially.
  • Toba Schiver: Not officially.
  • David Boder: [Unintelligible].
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] I decided, that I would go to Palestine.
  • David Boder: Well, and your brother as well?
  • Toba Schiver: No. Brother is to Czechia. He married [unintelligible]
  • David Boder: He married a Jewish girl?
  • Toba Schiver: Jewish girl.
  • David Boder: And he stayed there?
  • Toba Schiver: [In a very low voice] Stayed there.
  • David Boder: Speak up. He stayed there. And you with the sister?
  • Toba Schiver: We are here. The sister already married, uh, she already has a husband.
  • David Boder: Here in?
  • Toba Schiver: In Tradate.
  • David Boder: In Tradate. Did she get married in Tradate?
  • Toba Schiver: No, she got married in Venice.
  • David Boder: I see. Well, wait, uh, wait a minute. Not so fast. You decided to go to Palestine now?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Well. How did you join, how did you become a member of the kibbutz? How did you?
  • Toba Schiver: From Prague to Vienna.
  • David Boder: In Vienna? You went from Prague to Vienna. And how did you find a kibbutz?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible] These people were always taken, a few people, who were looking for a kibbutz.
  • David Boder: I see. Well, and then you left Vienna again?
  • Toba Schiver: To Enns. From Enns to Linz.
  • David Boder: Enns?
  • Toba Schiver: Ah, yes.
  • David Boder: Well?
  • Toba Schiver: To another kibbutz drove on weekend.
  • David Boder: Drove or walked?
  • Toba Schiver: Drove.
  • David Boder: And then from Linz, from Linz to?
  • Toba Schiver: To Salzburg.
  • David Boder: To Salzburg. And from Salzburg?
  • Toba Schiver: To, uh, Innsbruck. From Innsbruck to, uh, Milan.
  • David Boder: To Milan. Well, uh, tell me, how did you eat on the way, what did you live on?
  • Toba Schiver: Simply always there. From Enns to Salzburg simply always food there on the way.
  • David Boder: Who?
  • Toba Schiver: The . . .
  • David Boder: The Joint, the UNRRA? Well and now, uh, uh, you plan to go to Palestine?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Your sister is a younger sister, yes?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, with one years.
  • David Boder: And she has married already.
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Why have you not married yet?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes, I, I [unintelligible] yet to marry, but I'd need a husband for that.
  • David Boder: What?
  • Toba Schiver: [somewhat ironically] I do not have one!
  • David Boder: You don't have one. Well, and, uh, what are you planning to do in Palestine?
  • Toba Schiver: [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Don't you, don't you have any relatives in America?
  • Toba Schiver: [In a very low voice 'no'?]
  • David Boder: Speak up! No?
  • Toba Schiver: We have two cousins and an, uh, an, uh [unintelligible] an aunt . . .
  • David Boder: An aunt, yes?
  • Toba Schiver: to Palestine.
  • David Boder: They're going to Palestine now?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes. [Unintelligible].
  • David Boder: Did they receive certificates?
  • Toba Schiver: Yes.
  • David Boder: Well, perhaps, you had better waited there, would have been better?
  • Toba Schiver: That doesn't matter.
  • David Boder: That doesn't matter.
  • Toba Schiver: I've been through a lot already [unintelligible].
  • David Boder: And what are doing here the whole day?
  • Toba Schiver: Well, what, what other people do. Study and, uh, Hebrew and things like that.
  • David Boder: [In English] This concludes the interview with Miss Toba Shiver who is rather very scarce on words. But we've got a, we think a significant story. We conclude this spool on 25 minutes.
  • David Boder: [In German] Well, Mrs. Schiver, thank you very much. If you could please find the boy who brought you here and send him in. Thank you.
  • David Boder: [In English] Tradate, Italy . . . a small locality between Como and Milano, with a community of displaced persons mainly consisting of young kibbutzim.
  • Contributors to this text:
  • Transcription : Claudia Deetjen
  • English Translation : Claudia Deetjen