Interview With Menashe Lorinczi
When I joined the Israeli Army, for example, I was surrounded by many so-called heroes. They were all tough guys. They constantly boasted about all the Arabs they had killed. And they really looked down on me for having been a camp victim.
When I tried to tell them what I had gone through, my army buddies would ask, “How could you let the Germans do this to you?”
It’s taken me years to come up with the answer.
When we were liberated from Auschwitz, I remember the Russians captured some five thousand Nazi SS men. I saw these two “Mussulmans” — Jewish inmates, thin as skeletons, who had been left to die — take the guns away from these SS men and start shooting. And you know what? Not a single one of the Nazis even tried to run away. I watched as the Germans sat, awaiting their turn to be killed. There were only these two frail little Mussulmans. Yet the Germans sat there — like sheep.
As we, the Holocaust survivors, became stronger, we began speaking up. “What are you talking about when you say we went ‘like sheep’? Wasn’t there an uprising in Treblinka? Didn’t we fight in the Warsaw Ghetto? And what about the Partisans?”
And today, when I am asked that question, I tell people it doesn’t matter whether you’re Hungarian, Jewish, or German: If you don’t have a gun, you have nothing.