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Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust Interviews

8. Liberation

Unrestrained freedom for a group of survivors

Salvator Moshe was among a trainload of prisoners headed for massacre in the Austrian Tirol when the train was halted by the US Army near the town of Seeshaupt, Germany

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"They forced the civilian people to look, just to look.

I was standing there. A woman, she didn't believe it, you know, she turned her face. The officers, the American officers, gave her a slap in her face — a push, not a slap,

'Just look, don't turn your face away.' Now, the guards are still there. They're going to transport — where, we don't know.

One of the officers, American officer, was spoken French, I spoke French with him. He gave me his gun, he says, 'Shoot anyone you want to from these German guards, who you think was one of the bad ones.'

I never took his gun, I didn't want to. I was crazy from the freedom. And for twenty-four hours after freedom we had the right to take, to go in the house, in the store, to take anything you want, anything you want!

A lot of people became rich. A lot of people became rich. Gold and diamonds and this and this.

I went and asked a German woman and I begged for a handkerchief, that's all. I was — just to have a handkerchief. I was happy to have a handkerchief to blow my nose.

After the twenty-four hours, everything was normal. You could touch nothing. And they put us in different places, you know, to stay, to live."

Moshe Interview, Tape 5, Side 1
Transcript page 73 (PDF, 526 KB)

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