Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust Interviews
Living under a rule of silence while hiding in Holland
A young Herb DeLevie was concealed with more than a dozen relatives in one room of a small Dutch farmhouse from 1941-1945
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Interviewer: You were able to communicate with one another and you talked about this, but was it because there were people constantly in the house, that you had to use [quiet voices]?
"That's right and it was a very small house. Everything could be heard, like you could hear everything that happened in the kitchen and you never knew who would be coming in.
It was just established. You talked in a whisper. If somebody was there you didn't talk at all."
Interviewer: Could you tell if someone was there in the kitchen?
"You could hear them come in, yes, and like I say, you could hear almost everything.
So, yeah, we talked in a whisper. When I say whisper, it was a whisper. You could not cry. If you were punished and you cried, your head was stuffed in a pillow. If you were in pain, if you had stomach cramps or any kind of a pain, whether you're an adult or not, sound was something that just could not be made.
The rule was adhered to. It was necessary."
DeLevie Interview, Tape 3, Side 1