Survivor STORY

Margaret grew up in Berlin, Germany, and survived Auschwitz-Birkenau and several labor camps. She and her husband, Salomon, met in a DP camp after the war and emigrated first to Israel and then to Atlanta.

[With Husband Sal]

Liberation

Margaret: One day, I was there a year or two, I don't know. I went down when I go to work. I looked through the window, I see all the people running around in the street. I go to this SS man. It was in my luck that I could speak German, you know that? I say, "Tell me, what are they doing here? Why do they running all around?" So he said to me, "You can go too." I say, "I do?" So I took them two girls and we went too.

Salomon: It was the liberate, the liberation.

Margaret: That was the liberation. I went from the Czechoslovakia to Berlin. I walked to Berlin. We walked, ten days.

Making a Living

Salomon: When I came, I can't say it was bad because I was in worser times, you know. So, we made a living.

Margaret: That was most important.We didn't get no penny from nobody. He was working...

Salomon: We had a grocery store.

Margaret: First he was going to work in Gate City.

Salomon: Oh yeah, Gate City. I don't know if you remember this, it's a long time. Making tables and chairs. Jewish company was in - they helped when we came, people came from Europe. They helped and gave them jobs, and so on, I mean it was, can't complain. Made a living.

Margaret: Can I say?

Salomon: Yes you can.

Margaret: I was working in Lovable Brassiere factory. And I was working there and people just took in Jewish immigrants. And she gave me somebody -- I couldn't speak English. And she gave me somebody what speaks with me, and so this what I learned a little bit. He made $38, or $39?

Salomon: Thirty-eight dollars a week.

Margaret: Thirty-eight dollars a week and I did, worked piecework, so I made a little bit more than he did.

Salomon: She made $42.

Margaret: My daughter, my daughter, my oldest daughter, my youngest daughter wasn't born then. My oldest daughter, she was going in Inman School here.

Salomon: That was not far away where we lived.

Margaret: Yeah. She went and we got a apartment and she got, came home from school, she was sitting there, no furniture, no nothing. Nobody gives us a thing. And I called her up three or four times from my job. Everything is OK. So she was sitting on the floor and made her homework.

Salomon: Watching the television.

Margaret: Watching, yeah. This television is the first thing we bought, so she got something to do.

Survivor's Guilt

Salomon: We were really a strictly religious family, but after, I came out and stood by myself. Everybody gone, I say...

Margaret: Why? Why did we come out? What did the other one gone?

Well, how have you answered that for yourself over the years, why did I survive? How do you answer that for yourself?

Margaret: I don't know, just plain luck. Plain luck.

Salomon: Because I was a child. I was nothing, a little bitty thing and I survived, so I don't know why.

Margaret: You know, I got a friend here, when, where we lived before here, she said, "You know what, God know why he kept you." I have now the 6 grandchildren, you know. They are crazy about us.

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Margaret Jastrow Klug