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Oral Histories: Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust

Listen to an excerpt from Herb DeLevie's testimony: That Cat Is Here to Stay

Photo of Herb DeLevie.
Herb DeLevie, Holocaust survivor

Herb DeLevie is a Holocaust survivor. He was interviewed for the Oral Histories: Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust project.

Herb and his family hid from the Nazis in a rural Dutch farmhouse for almost four years. After liberation they returned to their home in Holland. And so did their big black cat.

Below you'll find the transcript and audio for this excerpt. We suggest reading the transcript while listening to the audio.

Read the transcript

"One of the biggest incidents was a cat that reappeared.

Before the war, before my father went into hiding, we had a great big black cat that appeared one day. And we had a lot of cats, and we had dogs. We had everything. This cat was a very independent cat. He just made himself at home no matter what. And was just a big, black, ugly cat.

And my father once took this cat, because my mother didn't like it, took it out in the country on the back of his motorcycle and left it.

A couple weeks later the cat appeared again. Then he decided to drown the cat, and he put it in the sack and threw it in the canal. And that afternoon, the cat was basking in the sun. Then he tried the same thing again by putting it in a sack, tying the legs and putting rocks in it. And that cat appeared again.

So my dad says, "That cat is here to stay."

We were gone for three and a half years. According to the neighbors, the cat disappeared the day the Germans came in. And when we came back, that cat was sitting on the picnic table in the back yard.

And that cat lived till about a year before we came to the States, when it died."

Listen to the audio
  • Excerpt from Herb DeLevie's testimony from the Oral Histories: Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust collection. Excerpt is from Tape 4, Side 1.
Download Audio (MP3, 1 minute, 25 seconds, 1.3 MB)

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