Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Henry Kronberg by Barbara Tabach, February 26, 2015 and April 13, 2015






Interview with Henry Kronberg by Barbara Tabach in two sessions, February 26 and April 13, 2015. In the first session Kronberg talks about his childhood in Germany and Poland and his experience being imprisoned by the Gestapo, and transported to a concentration camp. He survived the Holocaust and met his wife, and they moved to the United States in 1946. He discusses being reunited with his sister in Las Vegas after decades of searching, and moved his family to Las Vegas in 1962. Kronberg talks about becoming involved with Jewish life here, and his wife, Lillian's involvement at Temple Beth Sholom. In the second session, Kronberg discusses purchasing Stoney's, a loan and pawn shop, including some of the clientele and merchandise. He also discusses other social and environmental concerns like anti-Semitism and water resources in Southern Nevada.

Henry Kronberg was born in 1920 and spent his early childhood in a town on the border of Poland and Germany, about 40 miles from Krakow. For years he felt uncomfortable telling his story of surviving the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. Today his name is linked to the Sperling Kronberg Mack Holocaust Resource Center in Las Vegas. And in his soft-spoken manner, Henry recalls his ordeal of loss of family and survival during this most heinous of situations through backbreaking labor and ingenuity. At the end of the war, Henry met the love of his life, Lillian, also a survivor. The two married in 1946 in Frankfurt and immigrated to New Jersey where she had relatives. He describes their difficulties and the various jobs he held until becoming an excellent baker. Then in 1962 an interesting choice took him to a bar mitzvah in Canada. While there the dinner conversation lead him to a great discovery?his sister Lala had survived and was living in Las Vegas. Soon he moved his wife and daughter to Las Vegas. His first foray into business was with his brother-in-law. However, soon it was important to be independent and to control his own destiny. He purchased a going concern, Stoney's Pawn Shop, from Dr. Alexander Coblentz, one of the city's first doctors. He became the fourth owner of Stoney's and operated it until selling it to Steven Mack in 1998. Henry and his wife were active in the Jewish community. They joined Temple Beth Sholom and became fast friends with many of the early leaders of Las Vegas and became a respected member of the secular and Jewish communities.

Digital ID



Henry Kronberg oral history interview, 2015 February 26. OH-02280. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at

Standardized Rights Statement





AN INTERVIEW WITH HENRY KRONBERG An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach The Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas i ii ?Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Henry Kronberg was born in 1920 and spent his early childhood in a town on the border of Poland and Germany, about 40 miles from Krakow. For years he felt uncomfortable telling his story of surviving the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. Today his name is linked to the Sperling Kronberg Mack Holocaust Resource Center in Las Vegas. And in his soft-spoken manner, Henry recalls his ordeal of loss of family and survival during this most heinous of situations through backbreaking labor and ingenuity. At the end of the war, Henry met the love of his life, Lillian, also a survivor. The two married in 1946 in Frankfurt and immigrated to New Jersey where she had relatives. He describes their difficulties and the various jobs he held until becoming an excellent baker. Then in 1962 an interesting choice took him to a bar mitzvah in Canada. While there the dinner conversation lead him to a great discovery?his sister Lala had survived and was living in Las Vegas. Soon he moved his wife and daughter to Las Vegas. His first foray into business was with his brother-in-law. However, soon it was important to be independent and to control his own destiny. He purchased a going concern, Stoney's Pawn Shop, from Dr. Alexander Coblentz, one of the city's first doctors. He became the fourth owner of Stoney's and operated it until selling it to Steven Mack in 1998. Henry and his wife were active in the Jewish community. They joined Temple Beth Sholom and became fast friends with many of the early leaders of Las Vegas and became a respected member of the secular and Jewish communities. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Henry Kronberg February 26 & April 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface iv Born in Germany, raised in Poland; mother was a dress and hat maker and father a watchmaker and that he went to work at age 14. A Holocaust survivor, he talks about his reluctance to share that part of his history when he moved to the United States; age at 19 he and his family searched for safety in Poland which was not to be found; ended up he and his father being separated from his mother, sister and her husband when Germans over ran the area; and the difficulty of knowing the fate of each during and after the war 1 - 4 Some details about his and his father's Holocaust tough living and work experiences in Krakow from 1939; were moved to Krakow ghetto in 1941; and getting fed in Gestapo kitchen; becoming a regular on a painting crew at the Gestapo and being useful enough to obtain a degree of protection from being taken away. Story of murder of his friends; having the Nazi perpetrator arrested as a war criminal and later hanged. Describes the horror of the ghetto liquidation in March 1943; persuades a Gestapo to let his father join him, only for him to die; details of his imprisonment until 1945, as the Russians closed in on the Germans, the prison was liquidated; he survived the bitter transport to a concentration camp, Dora, where V-2 rockets were tested. Speaks of the moment of liberation and first days afterwards 5 - 14 Talks about being in/near Bergen Belsen; how he met and married his wife after liberation; about remaining in the area post-war; benefit of speaking German; 1946 they moved to New Jersey where wife had relatives. Lists their first jobs, speaking no English and their pay rates; eventually goes to work with his wife's uncle when he opened a bakery; became a great cake baker 15 - 19 Shares story of going to a bar mitzvah in Montreal in 1960 where he met other Holocaust survivors; learns that his sister survived and now lives in Las Vegas; how he contacted her after twenty years of separation and searching. Decision to move to Las Vegas (1962) included a partnership with his brother in law who owned Pioneer Loan and Pawn Shop; wife and daughter unhappy with moving; he gave up his plan to open a bakery in New Jersey 20 - 24 Talks about the move to Las Vegas; gift shop business of Bob Powell, his brother in law. His purchase of Stoney's Pawn Shop, a going enterprise; a competitor to Pioneer Loan, which they also purchased. Describes popularity of Stoney's; TV shows filmed on location there; reflective vi on benefits of moving to Las Vegas; reviews some photos from Stoney's and stories about people pictured in them 25 - 31 Tells how Lilly, his wife, was active in Jewish organizations; was nicknamed Lilly the Raffle Lady at Temple Beth Sholom due to her success. Mentions names of people in photos he is giving to the Jewish Heritage collection. Friendship with Paul Christensen, city councilman. Talks about abundance of water that is now depleting 32 - 36 Reminisces over photos; recalls liberation on April 11, 1945, seventy-five years ago. Recalls moving to Las Vegas in 1962 where his sister's husband owned Pioneer Loan, a pawn shop on Fremont Street and becoming his partner; describes what like Fremont Street then; store hours were from 8am to midnight. Bought Stoney's with Dave Pearlmuter and then acquired Pioneer Loan; about five years later he bought out Dave of Stoney's. Talks about clientele; story about being written up in a German newspaper; three brass balls anecdote; firearms sales 37 - 43 Describes his intuition about legitimacy of some customers; shying away from potentially stolen merchandise. Talks about repeat customer who was a songwriter; also comedian Redd Foxx was a customer; friendship with Sheriff John Moran and most everyone in town; downtown committee he was on 44 - 46 Jewish identification; Temple Beth Sholom; mentions Jewish leadership of the 1960s: Jack Entratter; Steve Wynn (emceed Federation fundraiser); Elaine Wynn; Nate Mack, Jerry Mack and his partner Parry Thomas; Jewish casino managers and entertainers. Lack of anti-Semitic incidents in general with exceptions of controversial Imperial Palace owner Ralph Englestad and anti-Semitic Sen. Pat McCarran locking horns with Hank Greenspun 47 - 50 His concerns about water waste of the area. Talks about Holocaust Resource Center that bears his name; how Edythe Katz spearheaded the fundraising; Frank Rosenthal and his wife member of Temple Beth Sholom; boxers Max Schmeling and Joe Louis; and names more people in photos 50 - 54 Talks about racism in Las Vegas and the Westside; Moulin Rouge where his brother-in-law had a gift shop. Recalls humor of renting a U-Haul to move to Las Vegas, disconnecting his phone and selling his house in New Jersey. Belief that he came to Las Vegas at the right time, but had difficulty renting an apartment with a child; finally find a place near the temple 55 - 57 Remembers attorney Louis Wiener Jr. as investor in Pioneer Loan; how he like to invest in businesses to help others; this included Stoney's with Henry; Wiener armored car funeral story. Talks about the popularity of free entertainment in casino lounges. Jerry Jorey owned pawn shop next door 58 - 61 Appendix: 1997 article featuring Henry Kronberg and his business. vii SESSION 1 This is Barbara Tabach and today is February 26th, 2015. I am in the Summerlin home of Henry Kronberg. I want to thank you very much for agreeing to sit here and talk with me for this project. It's quite an amazing story that you have. I've heard bits about it. When you live long, you have plenty of stories to tell. The longer you live, the more stories you've got to tell. That's good, huh? That's good. So start out for me with your childhood. I know you were born and raised in Poland. Talk about that, the prewar. I was born in Germany. When I was a baby, we moved to a Polish town that actually used to be right on the border between Germany and Poland. It was Katowice; that's in Silesia. You probably wouldn't know the town as much because the town doesn't have much historical things, but it's about forty miles away from Krakow. That's about it. And my childhood was like a normal childhood. I went to school. My father [Aron Kronberg] was a watchmaker. My mother [Ann Kronberg] was a hat maker. Life was tough. They didn't have much money. I had a sister [Lala] who was a year older than I. I had a normal family. I got my education in public school. But going to high school, you had to pay. The public school education was free and it was compulsory, but going to high school was just like going to college. So I never got more than the public education and I started working when I was fourteen years old. What did you work? 1 I worked in a material store. They were selling goods mostly for men's suits. Everything in Europe at my time, people didn't go to buy a suit. Mostly, mostly had it tailor made. So you had to buy the material. So that store is where I was working until the war. It seems to be a common occupation when I do these histories that the grandfather or somebody? Were the tailors. ?were tailors, yes. A lot of tailors. My wife [Lillian]was a dressmaker and her father was a tailor. Well, she started actually, she got her education?not education?I mean, she grew up in a house where they were tailoring. So she became a dressmaker. Yes, that really does set an occupation. So you didn't become a watchmaker like you father. No, my father want me to become a watchmaker. But I didn't like it because my father used to sit many times. He had a little shop and during the day he attended to the customers; so he didn't have a chance to work on the watches. Many times he used to work until one o'clock, two o'clock at night.. .fixing the watches, during the time when nobody disturbed him. So I didn't like it. And besides that I had to make a living. I had to get a job. That's why I started working when I was fourteen years old. Because you needed to contribute to the household income. That's correct. That's correct. What year would that have been? That was in '30s, early '30s. I would say 1934. I've read your story. Did you ever write about your Holocaust experiences? 2 Yeah. You have a book, too? No, I never wrote a book. But I think you can Google me. I did. You did? I have made a few speeches because I'm a Holocaust survivor. And that story began for you when you were the age of nineteen? Yes. You've given your testimony. I know you've been interviewed about your Holocaust experiences, so that we have access to. What I'd like to do today is maybe if you can tell us a little bit about that and then the importance of sharing that story, how that became possible. When I came to the United States, I never want to tell. I mean people knew about it. I was not comfortable telling the stories. I was not comfortable. Even when my daughter was born and when she was old enough to ask me about it, I never wanted to talk about it because it was painful and used to bring a lot of memories, which I didn't want at all. But when "Schindler's List" came out, the movie "Schindler's List," I realized that somebody has to tell the stories. It was at that time when I opened up, actually, and I start sharing my experience. So tell me about how that?Schindler's List, for people who would be listening to this interview in the future... I'll tell you. When the war broke out, we lived in a town, which was a border town between Germany and Poland. In school where I went we learned both languages, Polish and German. So I spoke fluently German. When the war broke out we knew that the town is going to be a hundred percent German town. And we, my father and I, went to Krakow that was about thirty, 3 forty miles away, which was not too far. But we were told that there was a bigger Jewish population there and we thought maybe we'd be a little safer than actually in our own town. So that's what I did. The plan that we actually had...we had some friends on the east part of Poland. When the war broke out, my sister?my sister was married at that time?we had some friends, which lived on the east part of Poland. So we felt that over there maybe the Germans wouldn't occupy; that maybe we would be much safer up there on the east part of Poland. So my mother and my sister and her husband went there. The plan was my father and I were supposed to follow them. But our plan never materialize because the Germans took over and we couldn't travel by train and the situation deteriorated where we could never get where my mother and my sister were. We actually lost contact with them. So I knew through some information, I found out they rounded my sister and her husband. They managed to go on the Russian side. And I knew that my mother was left in that little town where she was. I found out later on that she didn't survive. I didn't know the circumstances what happened, but I knew that she didn't survive. And I didn't know nothing about my sister's fate with her husband. The war was over and still I didn't know what happened with her. But my father and I stayed in Krakow. I don't want to go to details, but the Germans came into Krakow. They took over and they made us do all kinds of manual work and we had to report all the Jews especially men from I think it was sixteen years old. Every day we had to report to like a labor department, which they were assigning us to all kinds of different jobs and mostly was manual jobs, cleaning the street. Wintertime, we had to shovel snow or clean the street because Poland was cold and the snow was always on the ground all winter long. So we 4 would actually clean snow most of the wintertime. Food was very scarce and many times we had to look for different jobs to do something. Mostly everything used to be on the black market. We used to have ration cards, but the ration cards were very small. It was a tough, tough life at that time. The war started in 1939. In 1941, they moved us to ghetto in Krakow, ghetto. Conditions was very, very bad. But before they moved us to ghetto?and that's what I was telling you story about that we had to report every morning to working department, they call. Mostly the Germans came in the morning to that working department there and they needed, let's say, twenty people or fifteen people to unload carloads of coal or whatever they needed. Mostly manual labor? Manual labor. So they came in and said, "Look, I need twenty people." That's where we were. We never got paid or we never got nothing. But many places where we used to work, they used to have kitchens, which they were feeding their people. I mean the department had kitchens or whatever it was. One day I was picked up by some Germans. I didn't know who they were, but later on I found out that there was a Gestapo headquarter. They picked us up because they were confiscating people's property and furniture, so they needed somebody to carry it. They picked up fifteen guys on the truck and we went [to] this Gestapo headquarters. They had a kitchen there, which they were feeding their personnel. Because we were workers they gave us a bowl of soup. So we actually were looking for?we had to go to work anyplace. So we were always trying to push ourselves. We found out, oh, this place has a kitchen, so we might get a meal. So I was fortunate to be picked by that place and we got a meal. The labor, whatever we had to do, it was hard labor, but at least we got something to eat. That's what we were looking for. I was picked up by that Gestapo headquarters and we went following day because the 5 same guy used to come in. So he picked me up again. We became actually like a regular group, which was going to that place, the Gestapo headquarters. At that Gestapo headquarters I met one fellow who used to live in my hometown and he worked at the headquarters as a house painter. He was their foreman. At that headquarters they had all kinds of people working?there were mechanics; there were carpenters; there were house painters?because it was a huge headquarters. There was hundreds and hundreds of officers over there. So they needed maintenance. I started talking to that foreman and I told him, "Maybe you need a helper." He said, "I don't need a helper right now, but if I need a helper..." He asked me do I know how to paint. I said, "Sure." I never had a paintbrush in my hand. So I told him, "Yeah, I know how to paint." Sure enough, a week later he asked me to become his helper. He managed to make me part of his and I became a regular. Actually, I became fully employed. As employed as you could be in that situation. Yes, as an employee. The people who were permanently employed there, they were getting two meals a day and that was the main thing behind it. Because that's your goal is to survive. That's exactly the truth, to survive. And your father, what was he doing? He was working. At that time he was fixing watches and he worked. He was lucky that they didn't take him to any different jobs and he was working as a watchmaker in a place. But life was tough. The reason why I'm telling you this story...because that Gestapo headquarters while I was working, they were in charge of ghetto and they were in charge of all the Jewish affairs. I forgot to mention that also at the headquarters there were shoemakers. They had a shop of shoemakers, tailors, carpenters and plumbers and painters. When they formed a ghetto in 6 Krakow?because we were permanent workers?they gave us a special...not compensation, but I mean they gave us a piece of paper that we are working for the Gestapo headquarters and no other German authorities should touch us. They gave us something like a permit that we should not be harassed by different German authority; that we were useful Jews. So they protected us to that degree because they needed us. I understand. So most of these people were young men like yourself. It was mostly young men, but some were shoemakers who were older and had families. We all were looking for a little protection that nobody else should grab us because many times when you walked down the street and they needed some people to do some work, they used to grab you and put you on the truck and make you do some work, which they needed, and many times a lot of those people never came back. So we had like a little protection because we were useful for them. So you must have kept your papers in a very special place. That's correct. That's correct. The reason why I'm saying that...because those people who I worked for, I got to know on a daily basis because I used to go to paint the offices or their apartments. So I got to know those people personally. After the war was over, I caught one of those Gestapo, a man who was in charge of Jewish affairs. He was a mean, mean guy. He used to walk many times to the ghetto and then when he met some healthy Jewish young man, he shot him on the spot. And before he shot him he says, "Hey, you look too healthy. Maybe someday you might be a menace to us." And he shot them. And he shot two of my friends that I used to go to school with. And the same guy, I met him after the war in Hamburg train station and I had him arrested. They sent him back to Poland because he was a war criminal and he killed lots of Polish people from resistance in Poland. They hanged him. His name was Vaughn Maloochkey. 7 They hanged him. I'm not telling you the whole stories of the problems we had in ghetto, but I have to tell you how actually they liquidated the ghetto in March of 1943. The people who work on the Gestapo headquarters, we used to walk every morning. We used to walk from the ghetto to the headquarters. That was like a half an hour walk. One day they told us to assemble. They assembled us after the day's work and they told us that we're not going to go back to the ghetto. And my father was in the ghetto and other people had some families. They didn't tell us the reason. But what was the reason why they didn't let us go back to the ghetto? Because they liquidated the ghetto. The liquidation was that they killed everybody in the hospitals. They killed everybody in the orphanages; babies they killed. It was a slaughter. And some young people who were able to work, they took them to a concentration camp. Instead of sending us back to our homes, they put us in a prison. They housed us in a prison and we stay in the prison and they kept us in the prison. Every morning from the prison we went to work and at night we went back to prison. That was for almost two years we were in prison. When I found out that they were liquidating the ghetto, I went to one of my Gestapo, a guy who I paint his apartment and he was high in the rank. I went to him and I begged him. I told him that my father is a watchmaker and why don't he bring him, save his life, and at the headquarters they could use a watchmaker there. So I persuade him to bring my father to the prison, actually, to keep him alive. He dispatched a special...a runner and they found my father. And they brought him back to the prison. Amazing. Oh, my goodness, how you must have felt about that. And I was so happy that I saved my father's life. I was the only one from the group. There was 8 about seventy, eighty people in that prison. And I saved my father's life. But unfortunately, my father caught typhoid fever. And two days later after they found out that he had typhoid fever, they told me that they're going to take him to the hospital. Instead of the hospital, they took him to a camp and they executed him. They killed him. I found that out later on. He never came back. Oh, you were so close. How heartbreaking. I can't imagine. So then from the prison...? In the prison, we were two years there. The prison, which we are in, right across from the prison used to be a monastery. They took over the monastery and they remodeled it to a prison, that monastery; they put bars on the windows. So what happened...they gave us a whole floor because we were about sixty, seventy people of all kinds of professions. So they gave us that floor in that monastery. So we were able to move on that floor from one room to another. We were prisoners, but we were prisoners on one floor. We had little better conditions than actually the prisoners in prison. There was women, also. There was maybe about twenty women because the women were cleaning. They were in maintenance in headquarters. That's where they were washing the windows; they were washing the floors, all the corridors or whatever. They used those twenty women to keep maintenance at the headquarters. So there were twenty women and there was maybe another fifty or sixty men doing all different professions. On that floor there were shops. They created shops. They created shops for shoemakers. There was a shoemaker shop and was also a tailor shop, which they stayed there all the time. I was a painter and I was a painter at the headquarters. So every morning the carpenters, the plumbers and auto mechanics were going every single morning from that prison to the headquarters and they perform all the work. So what were you painting, rooms or the exterior? 9 I was painting offices and apartments many times. When they were interrogating some prisoners in the office, they used to beat the heck out of them and their blood splattered the wall. I used to come in, scrape blood off the wall and repaint the walls. So that's how you kept busy painting, by repainting the same... Yeah, I was painting the?yeah. But mostly we were painting?because that headquarters was huge. It was a whole square block. It was a lot of rooms. Also, at headquarters people used to live there. Like the dormitory, barracks. Not dormitory. I mean...what do you call it? Barracks? Not barracks, no. It was a buildings [with] residences. People lived there. The offices of all the people, they lived there. One section was designated for offices and the other section was residential. So somebody moved in and some moved out and new people moved in. So we had to repaint the apartment because the apartment was dirty or filthy or something. So we had to clean it up. So that's what we were doing. To make a long story short, the Russians were coming closer. The war for the Germans turned a different way and the Russians were coming from one side and their allies were coming from the other side. So when the Russians were coming closer to Krakow, they liquidated our prison and they sent us to concentration camp. And night before the Russians walked into Krakow, they sent us to concentration camp. Instead of letting us go...they did not. So that's how they reward us for all that work, what we were doing all those couple of years or three years, whatever I work for them. They didn't release us. They sent us to concentration camp. They send me to concentration camp in January in 1945. The war was over in April, but in those 10 three months I was in three different concentration camps, three different ones. More people passed away?I mean died, not passed away, they died from hunger and terrible condition in camp than actually two years before. Some camps like Auschwitz; that was a camp which they were killing people; that was a killing camp. But some of those camps were working camps. So they send me to a camp, which normally had a capacity of three thousand people. We were there over forty thousand people. There was no food, no shelter, and people were dying like flies. What was the name of this camp? It was Rosen; that was in Silesia, Gross Rosen. That means great roses. That's actually the name of it, great roses. I was lucky because I was young and I survived. They sent me from that camp to a different camp three weeks later. They put us on train cars, open, coal cars, didn't have no cover, and they loaded us maybe almost hundred people to a car. We were maybe two or three thousand people on the train; I don't know how many thousand people were on that transport. On the car where I was on, we were from Sunday morning to next Monday, seven days without food and water. And that was end of January, freezing cold, snowing, raining, no cover. By the time we came to the end of our destination, there was three quarter of bodies and only a few people left alive. Most of the older people died from the cold and hunger...bodies.. .all over the train?now, other train was mostly bodies. But I survived. How did you survive? I don't know. Because I was maybe young at that time. Anybody who was older, thirty, forty or fifty, they never survived, never survived. I was lucky and survived. If somebody would tell me before that I'd be able to survive for almost eight days without food or without water...I would never believe i t . We opened up our mouths when the snow was falling; that's how we got the moisture in our mouths. That was the story. 11 We came to a camp called Dora. That was deep in the mountains, similar to Mount Charleston, very similar to Mount Charleston. There was a big tunnel bore in the mountain and they were manufacturing V 2 rockets. I don't know if you've heard about that. That they were sending those rockets from Germany to London. Those rockets, they could not be controlled?they did not have a guidance system. They were just shooting up indiscriminately. They didn't know where they were going to fall. But they knew that they were going so many miles in certain direction. That was the beginning of our rockets. So that was the camp where they were manufacturing those rockets; that's where I was in that camp. A week later they sent me to a different camp, a smaller camp, and I was working on an assembly line of airplane parts. I was working over there for another few weeks. On April eleventh, 1945, they assembled us and put us on the truck with a guard. Again, we didn't know where we were going and we asked the guard, "Where are we going?" They said, "I don't know." The guards didn't know where they're taking us. Maybe two hours into our trip, all of a sudden, the truck stopped and the guards disappeared. What happened...the American troops were coming and I see American jeeps and American soldiers and I realize that the war is getting over for me. The guards disappeared and we jumped off the trucks. We were in this little village. I said to a friend of mine, "I think we're free people." We jumped off the trucks. The first thing what we were looking for.. .to get something to eat because we were starving, all the time starving. We went to a German farmhouse and we walked in. And I spoke German, so naturally I told them, I said, "We want some food." So he didn't know what to do. We were afraid of him and he was more afraid of us because he didn't know who we were. Who was it? The American troops were Patton troops, tanks and jeeps. They were in a battle around the village, whatever it was. I didn't hear much shooting, but we stayed at that 12 farmer's house for two days. He gave us some food and we tried to recuperate a little bit. How many of you were there? Me and a friend of mine, two of us. So just the two of you. The others, I don't know where they went. They all scattered? They scattered. But because I spoke German, I took advantage of the situation to get some food and shelter. The other guys ran away. I don't know where they were running. We were there for two days. In the morning my friend says, "Let's go outside and see what's going on in the village." We walked out from the house going to the main street there. All of a sudden, I see two German tanks coming back. What happened...Patton troops usually never cleared the area; they were just going ahead. So two German tanks hid in the woods and when the main force were ahead, they came out. Oh, wow. And all of a sudden I see on the main?at the main street there was a little like a court and I see on one side two German tanks; on the other side about a hundred feet away I see American soldiers jumping on the trucks and driving off and running away. There was only a few soldiers. They didn't want to stay there and fight the two tanks. When I saw that I said, "Nope, I'm going to run towards the side where the Americans are running." So I was running after the truck, thinking maybe they would take me on the truck, but they didn't. They just went away. And I felt if the Germans would shoot me, they shoot me, but I'm not going back to the camps. But they did not try after that. They were busy with themselves over there. We walked maybe a mile and we came across a lot of American troops. 13 There was trucks and tanks and everything. And they asked me if I saw a German tank. So I told them they were there?pointing to the direction we just came from. I didn't stay to find out what happened. I kept on running away. We came to a little, small town and we stay in that town. The town was already liberated by American troops. That's where we stay in that little town for a while. So how