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Uea dissertation title page public health capstone project topics for money advocacy thesis Today’s date is February 25, 1997. The survivor’s name is Renee Scott. Interviewer’s name is Clifford Davids. This interview is taking place in Boston, Mass., United States of America, in the English language. Today’s date is February 25, 1997. Survivor’s name is Renee Scott. My name is Clifford Davids. This interview is taking place in Boston, Mass., in the United States of America, in the English language. This is the second reading and correct reading of the slate. Today’s date is February 25, 1997. The rescue and aid-giver’s name is Renee Scott. My name is Clifford Davids. This interview is taking place in Boston, Mass., United States of America, in the English language. Rolling. Good morning. Can I have your name, please, and the spelling? Renee Scott. You want me to spell it? - Please. - R-E-N-E-E, Scott S-C-O-T-T. Can I have your name at birth and the spelling please? Renee Scott, that’s my maiden name. Thank you. Have you ever had any other names? I had Barro, my husband’s name. B-A-R-R-O. Have you ever had any other names other than Barro. No. No. Have you ever had any nicknames? Mickey. - Spell that please. - M-I-C-K-E-Y. Your birth date? 13th of February 1906. And your age? Ninety-one years old. Can I have the city and the spelling and the country of your birth? I was born in Calais. C-A-L-A-I-S. Calais, France. And can you give me the names of your parents and any siblings that you had? Can I have the names of your parents? Yeah. My father was Albert George Scott. My mother was Jean Galchet. G-A-L-C-H-E-T. And did you have brothers and sisters? Yes, I had seven brothers and sisters. I had two that I did not know. Two babies that died before Yvonne was born. Then I had Yvonne. I had George. I had Yvonne, George, me, May and Walter. Thank you very much, Mrs. Scott. Let’s start out by you talking about your childhood in Calais. I wouldn’t remember Calais. I was too small. I came to America. I was two and a half years old, I think, when I came to America with my parents, where my dad was director of lace mills in Somerville, New Jersey, first, where he was part owner of the lace mill, Redfern Lace Mills. We stayed there for several years. I went to school when I was a child, French and English school as a little child. In Somerville, I went to school. Then we kept moving around as my dad was moving in other, you know, other cities for the lace mills. His last lace mill was here in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where he was director of the American Textile Company for about six or seven years. When the war broke out, we lived in Providence, in Edgewood, Providence, and from there, they were closing the mill on account of the war, and we went to New York. You’re referring to the First World War. Yes. Should I continue? Please. We went to New York, where Dad opened up his office. He was a designer in lace. So he attempted to make out lace designs, thinking that would help him during the war, but it didn’t help him. So he decided to go back. As soon as the war was finished, he went back by himself to Calais, where he found everything demolished, all the lace mills. My two grandfathers were owners of lace mills in Calais. Everything was demolished. So we stayed in New York for a while, my mother with the four children. Yvonne, George, Walter, May and I. Five of us. In 19– Well, I think it was 1917 when the war finished? I think we went back in ’18– a little after 1918, we went back to join my dad. There we continued to try to find work. We couldn’t find work. So I did, like lots of teenagers, a little job here, a little job there, but we lived at my grandmother’s house. We had no home. We stayed there for quite a while. Then my dad was very lucky to get a job with the American Graves Registration in Belgium. I’m sorry. What was the name of the organization? The American Grave Registrations. So we all went to Belgium, went to Antwerp. There, we had an apartment in a big hotel where they set us up, the American Grave Registration. We stayed there for about a year. And there, I found work in a bank. I always dared try everything. I didn’t know, but I tried. I didn’t like that very much. I had learned to dance in America as a child, and I wanted to be a ballerina. My parents were not crazy about it, but I said, “That’s what I’d like to do.” So in Antwerp, I joined a dancing school. What year was this? All this happened in– I don’t know, I’d say– My daughter was born in ’25. In the twenties probably, ’21– I don’t know. I can’t remember. I’m an old lady. You ask me dates, I don’t know exactly. You know, approximately. So anyway, I joined the dancing school, and I was very lucky to get a job right away, almost right away, because they saw I had learned to dance, I could do it. I had a job right away at the big theater called the Palladium in Antwerp. So I told my sister, May, I said, “You’re too young, but you have to join and come with me and dance too.” So I took her to dancing school, and she loved it. She was a wonderful dancer. She danced the whole Swan Lake on her bare toes. She was a wonderful first dancer. So then from there, we joined opera dancing and we danced at the opera in Antwerp for two seasons. From there, my parents decided to move– Where’d we go? We went to Nancy in the east of France. We were very happy there. We had nice apartments. My daughter was then about three years old then. We stayed there in Nancy for about eight years. That’s where my sister and I danced at the opera there for five years. Let me backtrack a little bit. You said you studied dance when you were in the United States. As a child in Providence, yes. Do you recall the name of the school that you studied at? Right at the opera. The school was right in the opera. And what style of dance did you learn in the United States? Opera. Ballet. Especially ballet. Now when you were in Antwerp, you danced there for approximately two or three years until you moved to France. Yes, we did everything. Were you living at home at the time? - Pardon me? - Were you living at home at the time? I’ve always lived at home. Always. Except when we traveled, you know, but we always lived at home. Tell me a little bit more about your life during those years in Antwerp. Were you very active socially? We had no time, really. I mean, no, we were always– We worked. After rehearsal, we went home. We never went out at night. Very, very– We never went out at night. We just went for our work, and we went home. Was your family religious growing up? Yes, always. Tell me about what church they belonged to. My grandfather was a Methodist minister, and my mother was very religious and my father too. My father was a Freemason. He was Scotch and English. We always had a very good religious background, and we still do now. My grandchildren and my great-grandchildren are also very religious. Not fanatic, but they are religious. Did you go to church regularly? Then I did. I don’t– No, now I don’t. I’m a member right here down the street. I’m in touch with them all the time, but I cannot always get around. I can’t go alone anyway. Did you consider your family to be very political? No. My dad, I can’t remember. Did you tour with the dance company in Antwerp? - Did I what? - Did you tour? - Yes, we did. - Tell me about that. In Flanders. In Flanders, mostly. So when you moved to France, you had been dancing for a number of years. Oh, yes. I was seven years old when I started. Dancing professionally. When you arrived in France, did you join a company, a dance company immediately? Not a company. At the opera. Not a company. - Did you join the opera immediately? - Yes. Tell me a little bit about your experiences there. Well, opera season, it starts in November, finishes in April, during the whole winter. Like here, at the Wang, you know? But here, they have companies that come. You have no opera here in Boston, have you? - I don’t know. - You haven’t got an opera theater here. I don’t know. I’m asking you. - I don’t know. - I don’t know either. Well, in Europe, every city has an opera. So during the season from November until April, you were working regularly. Right. And in between, I always worked. As I told you, I took public relations in fairs or anything I could get. As long as it was honorable, I worked. So, you worked in the opera, you danced in the opera, between November and April, and what did you do during the summertime? That’s what I’m telling you. Public relations, usually with fairs. I traveled with fairs and different things like that. Tell me a little bit about that job. I traveled with the Paris Fair and traveled mostly in Switzerland and Germany. Like the trade fairs. That’s what it was, trade fairs. I was secretary in the fairs. Like you wanted to come and present what you were going to present. I would take your name, your address and all the information. That was my job. You must have met many interesting people while you did that. - Pardon me. - You must have met many interesting– I did. I met lots of nice people. Interesting. Some not. How many languages did you speak? I speak French, English and Flemish. Dutch, Dutch. So tell me more about your family life while you were living in France during those years. Could I tell you I don’t know? My family life was very plain because we weren’t rich at the time. We all had to work and it wasn’t, you know– We were very happy at home. We were happy with what we had, but we weren’t– We didn’t go on vacations and things like that. Our family life was very, very– How would I say? Calm and quiet at home, mostly. We’d go out, and church and things like that. Your father grew to accept your job as a dancer for the opera? He didn’t like it, but he accepted it. I forgot to tell you. My dad spoke, I told you, seven and eight languages fluently. He graduated from Oxford University and from the University of Leipzig in Germany. And my mother spoke fluent English and French, and wrote them. Tell me what you remember of anti-Semitism back in France, back in the ’20s when you were living there. We didn’t take care of that at all. Not at all. Never involved. Only in ’38 when, you know, it started to be very bad between Germany and England. When Eden– You remember when Eden came over? It started to be bad. That’s when they asked me if I wanted to work with the underground. My dad opposed, so I didn’t do it. Let’s talk more about the years leading up to 1938 and about what you were doing. - Before that? - Mm-hmm. When you were living in France, did you belong to any organizations? No. Never. Did you travel at all as a dancer? As a dancer? Oh yes. Traveled all over. All over France, all over North Africa, all over– everywhere in Europe. And this would have been during the summertime, in the off-season? Right. And then after, when we stopped the opera, then we joined a company. And then we traveled 15 months at a time without coming home. How long did you dance with the opera for? Many years. Oh, I don’t know. Every year, we would dance in the opera, you know, since we were dancing. When did you begin traveling abroad with the dance company? Right away after the opera season. Then we had contracts with a company to travel. I couldn’t tell you what date. I mean, I don’t know what date it was. As soon as we could– travel by ourselves, my sister and I. My parents had to sign for us. And we traveled. So you traveled throughout the 1930s, correct? No, there was opera. Before the war, it was always opera. It’s only after the war, that we– Not this war, the first, you know, the other war. In between the two wars, we traveled all over. So between approximately 1917, 1918 and 1940, you were traveling all over the world. Right, until ’39. ’39. Tell me a little bit about the traveling that you did and some of your experiences traveling with the dance company. Well, it was very interesting to go in different countries. I loved Switzerland and Germany. Met a lot of people. Especially Switzerland. I loved Switzerland. And the people were very, very nice with the companies there, very good. We had a lot of success. My sister and I had a team dance, the two of us, like you saw there. We enjoyed our life as dancers very much. But we weren’t the kind to go out after the shows and all that. We did our work. We were too tired to even– to say we’re going to go out. Yeah, we’d go and have dinner after, because we never ate before we went on the stage. So we’d eat after the show, always. Did you get many invitations to go out for dinner? Oh yeah, we had a lot of– We didn’t accept them all, but we had a lot. A lot of invitations. You were exposed to many different cultures in your travels. Oh, yes. We met all kinds of people, all kinds of nationalities and all kinds of religions. Do you think your exposure to the different types of culture was a factor in your helping the Jews out during the war? Do I think what? Do you think your travels throughout North Africa and Europe helped you to understand other people’s– Yes, I do. Tell me about that. I think the more you meet people of different nationalities or cultures, as you call it. Like, in Belgium, you meet different people than you do in Switzerland, and you learn a lot. You learn a lot by meeting all these different kinds of people. I know I did. I learned to do all kinds of things and to accept people much better. You accept people better when you meet people and know the way they live and their culture. Do you consider yourself a very tolerant person? Yes, I think I am. I think I’m very patient. I think so. While you were traveling in the 1930s and dancing, were you aware of what was going on in Germany with the Nazi Party? I didn’t get that. While you were traveling in the 1930s, were you aware of what was going on in Germany? Not very much, no. No, only in ’38 when it really, you know, started. No, before that, no. Tell me about 1938, when you first became aware of what was happening. Well, you had to be aware. It was like declared all at once. They were going to enter. If we wanted or not, they were going to enter France. That’s when, I told you, that we decided not to stay in the north of France. We went to Paris because my parents were afraid. My daughter was just a little young girl, 12 years old, and I was still young, and my parents didn’t want us to be there, exposed at the hands of the Germans if they came in. So we went to Paris, where my sister, older sister, was living with her husband. He was director, at that time, of the Guaranty Trust Company, the bank in New York. So they found us a place to live in Paris, and we stayed in Paris. We stayed there all the time. Even when I was arrested, my parents still had the same apartment. So Yvonne had been living in Paris before you arrived. Yes. Did you ever travel through Germany while you were dancing? Yes, I did. Tell me about that. I must tell you, I wasn’t very fond of– That’s a culture that I didn’t care for too much. They’re very harsh people. They’re hard. They’re not that friendly. Now, maybe, but at that time, they were not. No, I didn’t care so much for Germany. I loved Switzerland, Belgium. Italy, I liked very much. Did you have any experiences in Germany while you were dancing that helped you form that opinion? No. Do you remember, at your performances, any soldiers coming up to you and inviting you out to dinner afterwards? - In Germany? - Mm-hmm. No. Do you remember any members of the Nazi Party coming and watching you perform in Germany? Did I what? Were there any Nazis who watched you dance? I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you that. That was– After the war, I know they were mean. Even after the war, they didn’t like us. I don’t say all the Germans, you know. I’ve met some nice German people too. I’m not like that. But, I mean, the Nazi crowd– They’re terrible and they still are. They will never change. Tell me about your life when you moved to Paris. In Paris? When you first arrived in Paris, what was it like there? When I left the north of France? Yes. Paris was just Paris. I mean, there was nothing special in Paris. There’s always– Paris is always special. But, I mean, I was living with my parents, and there was nothing special. I wanted to get some work, which I did. Pardon me. Almost right away, I found work. Dancing. Dancing at the– I danced at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, too, which was very exciting. You know, with the– Ooh-la-la! No, that was nice. I liked it there. Then I danced at the opera. I took the place with– who was one of the big opera dancers. We played in Swan Lake, and my sister was first dancer, and I was the second dancer. How much would you get paid for a night, dancing? Do you remember? Very little. Very poor. I couldn’t– I don’t remember, but very poor. 700 French francs. A month– 750, I think it was. That was very poor. What was your father doing for work? He was looking for work. He didn’t have any work. That was during the beginning of the war, very hard. He was an interpreter. When he found different things to do as an interpreter, he would do it. He would do anything when he found it. - Excuse me. May I? - Please. Excuse me. So when you first arrived in Paris, after you left the north of France, you were working as a dancer. How long did you work as a dancer for? After ’38, you mean? Yes. Off and on, when they needed me. I was, like, fill-in. You know? I worked there for about– I worked like that for about– Not very long, because then I met Simone, and I worked with her at the chamber of commerce. Then I left the dancing for a while. The war was coming on. And I started to work with her at the office, the chamber of commerce. What is Simone’s last name? Pheter. P-H-E-T-E-R, Pheter. It’s a German name. Tell me about how you first got the job at the Belgian Chamber of Commerce. I met her at a trade fair. I told you that I had been secretary for a gentleman that was a big industrial in Belgium. He had his office in Paris at the chamber of commerce, and he asked me if I would be his secretary in Paris, because it would avoid him from going back and forth. I told you that we had decided to get married, but, unfortunately, he died when I came back from the camp. Anyway, I– I got in touch with Simone at the fair, because the Belgian Chamber of Commerce was represented at the fair. There’s always one, you know that, in trade fairs. She told me, “Well, you’re going to come with me, and we’re going to work together there.” And that’s how I started to work with the underground with her. Tell me about the first time you met Simone. I was introduced to her by a friend that was director of the Remington– What? How do you call it? Type machine in Paris. We had known him a long, long time, because he used to live in Nancy where we lived, and after the theater, we would always go, as I told you, to have supper or something to eat, and he would always be there with friends. Mostly they would talk business, or they’d play a game of cards before they went home, and I met him. And one day in Paris, he came to where we lived, and he rang our bell. I was surprised to see him. I said, “Jean, what are you doing here?” He said, “What are you doing here? Where have you been all these years?” He had a daughter the age of mine. So he said, “Well, I’m coming here to see some precision machines.” That they were making, not for the war. They said not for the war, but it was. Anyway, we stayed in touch with him. I told him, I said, “Oh, I’m looking for work. I have no work right now here.” He said, “I’m going to introduce you to somebody.” And he introduced me to Simone. That’s how I met her. What did you think of her the first time that you met her? I said, “I’m glad to know you” the first time I met her. She took a liking to me and me to her right away. We became very, very close friends right away. I worked with her at the chamber of commerce. We never talked– underground. Never, never. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know she did anything. Only when I told you that I wanted to go to Belgium to see a lawyer to get my divorce. My husband was in the Belgian Congo and I wanted to– to quit that relationship. My daughter had never met her father because he left me before she was born. Anyway, she said, “You’re okay. You’re going to work here with me.” So I stayed and worked with her. Then one day, I told her I had to go to Brussels. She said, “I’ll get you a pass.” We’re going to finish the tape right now. Pardon me. Rest? We’re going to finish the tape right now. - May I have a rest? - Yes. ...about the events leading up to your working at the Belgian Chamber of Commerce. How did you start working there? When I met Simone. She was introduced to me and she asked me if I would come and be her secretary and I did. I was very happy to accept the job and I was very happy to work with her. She was a very intelligent, very bright girl. 25 years old. She spoke, I think, two or three languages, herself. She was a wonderful person to work with. What was her position at the Chamber of Commerce? She was director of the Chamber. What sort of work did you start doing for her initially? Interviewing people when they came to look for work or they came and asked us information. Like they do in all chamber of commerce, you know. Was it a very busy place to work? Yes, very, very busy. What sort of people do you remember coming and going? Business people, businessmen, business ladies. Very few young people. I mean, not young people at 16, you know. People over 20 years old. What was Alice doing at this point? Pardon? What was Alice, your daughter, doing at this point? She was still going to school. You were living with your mother and father? Yes. My dad died suddenly in 1940. I think he got– I think he became very frightened of the idea of war and he had a little heart problem. He died very suddenly. Approximately how long did you work at the Belgian Chamber of Commerce before you became aware that Simone was involved in underground activities? Not very long. Maybe two months. Tell me how you first became aware of that. Because, I told you, I wanted to go to Belgium. I needed a passport. She told me, “Don’t worry about that. I’ll get a passport.” Then I went to Brussels, saw my lawyer. I came back. Everything was fine. Then, shortly after that– I don’t know how long, not long– she said– I said I had to go back to see my lawyer again. Then I was in contact with the gentleman, my boss, you know, for whom I was working. So she said, “That’s okay. Your passport’s still good.” But I had a funny feeling every time I took the train that I was being watched, more or less. I don’t know– by individuals, but German people, German men. Anyway, one day, she told me, “Listen, you’re going to Brussels. Do you mind bringing some papers at a certain place?” I said, “No, I don’t mind. Why not?” So I did. It was at the Unknown Soldier in Brussels. I went to bring some papers there and I felt somebody was following me. I brought the papers there and when I came out, I didn’t see that individual but I did see him a little bit later on as I was walking in the street. He was following me. I said, “That’s funny. Don’t know why I’m being followed.” Anyway, I lost him. Went in the stores, and I– Big department store. I wasn’t thinking really at that time. When I came back to Paris, I told Simone, and then she told me. She said, “It’s not fair. I didn’t tell you what it was, but here’s what it is.” She explained to me that she was working for the underground. She said, “ I don’t want– You have a daughter and you have your family.” She had her family, too. She said, “I don’t want to get you involved.” But she said, “If you want to, if you’re interested.” And I said, “Sure. Go ahead.” I started like that. Were you angry with her for– Angry? No, no. I was– I was a little deceived, but I was not angry. When she asked you to join the underground– She asked me if I wanted to, yes. Did you make your decision to join right away? - I said yes. - You didn’t need to think about it? Tell me why it was such an easy decision for you. Because I had started, and I said, “Well, I’ve started now.” It’s that easy. I’m going there anyway. But I didn’t really, to tell you the truth, I never thought I’d be caught. I never thought they’d catch me. When you first joined the underground, what type of work did you think you would be doing? As I said, I carried all kinds of documents in fur coats. I’d wear a fur coat and I had documents in it. I had bottles of oil. You couldn’t get salad oil during the war, but she would get it. And there were double– You can’t say it in English. A false bottom? Yeah, and there were things in there. So you acted as a courier when you first began. Yeah, right, right. Where would you take all the papers and whatever it is that you had– - Where would I take them? - Yes. All different places. Tell me about a typical job that you would have. Tell me about a particular day when you had to go take something to someone. Particular day? I couldn’t tell you what day. Tell me one incident. You don’t have to tell me the day, but tell me a specific incident, when you had to take some papers to someone. You want a day? The date? No, I don’t want the day. I want you to tell me about one day when you took some papers and you had to deliver them to somebody. Like I just told you there about that one that was following me. - Okay. - That happened another time. I was in the train and I had the fur coat on and I had documents in my coat. My coat kept slipping off my shoulders. There was an individual next to me, I knew he was German, but he kept wanting to help me. He spoke very broken English. I said, “No. I’m fine this way.” I said if I take it off, you never could tell, you could feel I had something under my coat. That’s the only time, really that I felt that he was really next to me, in back of me. Otherwise– I wasn’t afraid, but I felt uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. Were you involved in underground work two days out of the week, three days out of the week? Every day. We made false ID’s. That’s how we saved the Jewish people, by making false ID’s. - Tell me about– - That was at the office. At the Chamber of Commerce. Tell me how you made the false ID’s. There were cards, little cards, like an ID card. We put their names on it, put their birth, where they came from. Just like you do here. Simone had a machine. She stamped it. Then the papers– We made out papers and we sent them in certain places in the south of France, most of them. How did you get the names of the Jews? Well, they gave us it. They came to the office. They knew that the Chamber of Commerce– How they knew it, I don’t know. There were all kinds of underground things that gave them the where– where they had to go. They had the excuse that they wanted to find work or they wanted this, and they’d come to us. When they came to us, they had a certain– How do I say?– certain ID on them or certain sign on them that we knew what they wanted. Simone had arranged all that. She did everything. Did you do any of the arranging at all? - Pardon me? - Was it only Simone that did the arranging? Yes, yes. Nobody else. They would come in with a photograph and you would make the ID. Yes, they had a photograph. Where was the equipment in the– In the office, right in the office. Well, in the back room. Was there anyone else at the Chamber of Commerce - that was aware of what you were doing? - No. No, nobody. Everything was very well arranged. In any given week, approximately how many passports would you make? Sometimes we did– 25 a day. Not every day, but I would say at least– maybe 200, 300 a week. These poor people trying to get away. Get away, you know. So many, and children. How long would it take you to make one passport? Twenty minutes. Had to go fast. But the doors were closed in any case. There was somebody that watched at the door. They didn’t know what for, but they didn’t let– It was during the war, so they didn’t let anybody in. What did you do, other than make passports? - In between? - Mm-hmm. Worked for the people that came to ask information to the Chamber of Commerce. For work or information for travel. Anything that you ask in a chamber of commerce. I don’t know what they ask here, but– What would you go in to ask here? Were your parents aware of what you were doing? No, nobody. My parents didn’t know where I was for three and a half years. They didn’t know I’d been arrested or anything. Before you were arrested, they weren’t aware of what you were doing? No, no. They knew I worked at the Chamber of Commerce, that’s all. No. Would you travel to Brussels very often during that time? Yes. Well, about I’d say two or three times a month, in the month. During, maybe during two months, then I’d stop for a while. How long did it take the train from Paris to Brussels? About– four hours. Would you often go there just for a day and then come back in the evening? Sometimes. But sometimes I stayed longer. Where would you stay in Brussels? I had an apartment. - Tell me about that apartment. - I told you. I gave you the address. Rue de Fleurs, 5 Was that apartment used by other people as well? No, it was only mine. Under my name. That’s where they came and arrested me. The Gestapo. Let me backtrack a little bit. Did you have any contact with anyone in the underground other than Simone? Yeah, I had Lillian and I had the other girls that I showed you the pictures. Contact without– We had contact without having contact. We’d meet each other like– I’d be walking the street. We knew we were going to meet each other. We didn’t make believe that we knew each other. You know what I mean? I can’t explain myself. We had contact, but we never, like, went out and had dinner together or things like that. Not in groups. Never. You mentioned a woman named Lillian. Who is that? - Pardon me? - You mentioned someone named Lillian. - Lillian? - Lillian who? Yeah, Lillian, the parachutist. What’s Lillian’s last name? - Freter. - Can you spell that? Freter. F-R-E-T-E-R. Tell me about Lillian. Lillian was a person married to a doctor. She was from a very good family, a noble family in England. And her mother was– not a noble lady, but a very– She was a noble lady, but not noble background. But a very, very nice lady. They had quite a lot of money. Her brother was– the hairdresser at the King’s palace. He had his own– How would I say?– salon de coiffure? I wouldn’t call it a beauty place, but a place where you could go and have your hair done and your nails and all that. But something really, really very chic in the best quarters of Brussels. Very rich. She was an only child. For what the little– I knew her a long time, but I didn’t know too much of her family background. But I know that she had a daughter. She had been married. She had a daughter that was about– When I knew her, she was about 14. About Jenny’s age. That I met after. She was married to a– I think he was from the Flanders. He was from a very good family. Anyway, they didn’t get along and she divorced and she had the daughter. That’s as much as I know of her family. She became a very good friend of mine. After the war, we stayed very good friends. Tell me about the work that you did with her during the war– Pardon me? Tell me about the work you and Lillian did together in the underground. We didn’t even see– She wasn’t with me. We worked for the underground together, but she wasn’t where I was. She was in the– As a parachutist, they sent her everywhere. She was in the north of France. She was in the south of France. She was every– Anywhere the Germans could be, they’d send her. She spoke several languages too. Then, as I told you, one day, she was coming down in the north of France in her parachute and a German shot at her and the bullet went in back of her heart, in her back, came out under her heart and she killed him. And then the farmers– it was in the country. It’s okay. Thank you. The farmers came and rescued her and they took care of her and they sent her probably– I don’t know where she was. Anyway I met her when I was in Ravensbrück. Somebody came and they called me and they said, “Mick, Mick, somebody you know. Somebody you know. Come and see. It’s your daughter.” My heart stopped beating. My daughter, she was still young. I said, “No, it can’t be.” It was Lillian. From that day on, we never, never left each other. Never, never. We had decided, if they did something to us, that we would die together. I remember the day of our– Well you didn’t want to get there yet. Liberation. I’ll tell you that after then. You had mentioned a number of other girls that you had worked with. - Other girls? - In the underground. Yeah, but I didn’t know their names. We didn’t know our names. We just knew– We had a number that we’d call each other, but we didn’t know our names. Did you have special code words that you would use when you would meet them? Not really. I tried to stay out of being in contact with them. You didn’t like doing the courier work? I liked it. It was exciting. Until I knew I’d gone too far. But I couldn’t get back. How was it exciting? When you do something you know you’re not supposed to do, but you want to do it because you want to get there, you know? But– I never thought I’d be caught. So I thought it was interesting. Even the gentleman I was going to marry didn’t know it. I used to go, each time I went to Brussels, I would see him. And have dinner and go out with him and all that, but I never told him anything. What was his name? Jean. John De Pauw. D-E-P-A-U-W, De Pauw. When Simone first asked you to join the underground, did she tell you about the dangers? No, not really. She just said, “You know what you’re exposed to.” What was your response? I said, “Well, okay, I know.” But I told her I have to go anyway, so what difference? I have to go to Brussels anyway. That’s the way I took it. I thought, “I’m going. I might as well do something.” Why did you join the underground? I don’t know why. I can’t tell you why. Because I thought, just as I told you, I was going anyway to Brussels. So I thought I might as well do something, if it’s going to help, you know, help our country or whatever. Did you feel you were helping the Jews and the country? - Yes, yes. - Both. I know because I knew– I didn’t know her name, but I knew a young girl. She was just a very ordinary, young French girl. She was 16 years old. I met her in the camp after when we were working at Siemens factory. She blew up the whole theater, Gaumont Theater, in Paris by herself. - What was her name? - I don’t know. I met her in the camp when we were working at Siemens. We called her Dolly, but that was not her name. She must– I don’t know if she lived or what, because, when we were liberated, she wasn’t liberated at the same time I was. Let’s talk a little bit more about the passports that you were making. Were you using false names? What would you do? Yeah, false names. Where would you get the names from? Any name they want to give us. They’d give us a false name. They’d give a false name. The Jewish person would give– Yeah, like I called myself Mickey, they’d call themselves different names. Don’t ask me their names because I don’t know their Jewish names. You just knew the name they gave you. Yeah, right. Well that was up to them to give us the names. Most of them were foreign names anyway. Lots of them were– Lots of them were German Jewish people that were running away. What kind of person was Simone? What kind of person? What do you mean? Physically? What did she look like? She wasn’t very tall, a little bit taller than me, and I’m short. She was a little bit taller than me. Same as on her picture, very pretty face. She had beautiful eyes, great big blue eyes. Well-built. And always laughing. Always, always in a good mood and always singing. She’d make out the passports, she was still singing. She had a beautiful voice. And I don’t know why she’d always sing “Ave Maria.” Oh, she loved that and she’d sing it so well. I would tell her, “Simone, sing that for me.” So when– Well, you’re not to the liberation. How did she sing it? - Pardon me? - How did she sing it? - How did she sing it? - Yes. What do you mean how? She had a beautiful voice and she knew it. She had learned singing, I think. Did you ever sing or were you just a dancer? - Did you sing while you danced? - No, no, no. I haven’t got a good voice. My mother did. My mother was an opera singer. And my sister, Yvonne. Both sang very, very well. It was almost as if she wasn’t afraid of what she was doing. Simone? No, never. Never afraid. But she knew what she was doing. Like when I started, I didn’t know, but she knew. But I was never angry at her for that. Do you ever remember her being afraid? No, never. But she suffered, oh– There, probably she was afraid, poor girl. When they caught her, they caught her before me, and they caught– - Do you want to know this? - Sure. They caught her and they put her in the big prison in Paris. They put her on a board with nails sticking up, and they strapped her, naked, on that board. They wanted her to admit all the people she knew, and every time she said no, they would bang her on that. I don’t know, but her sister– They arrested her sister who did nothing, just because she was her sister. Her sister said that they showed pictures. They showed her, just to hurt her. They didn’t arrest the sister. Just for a few– a short time, because the sister wasn’t involved in anything. But they showed the sister pictures to make her feel bad, to try to make the sister say something, but she never did. She was full of blood, just blood all over the place. Let’s talk some more about your experiences. You say you traveled in France, and you traveled to Belgium. Did you travel anywhere else for the underground? No, no. Just there. What was the name of the group that you worked with? The underground group that you worked with? She never wanted to say it. Simone never said it. She didn’t want me to know it. As I said, I started really with the underground, not knowing what I was doing until the day she told me. I had started already. And she told me, “Well you know what you’re doing? Do you mind?” and this and that, and I said, “No.” Then things came so fast and so fast and so fast, before we knew it, we were arrested. You started working for the underground sometime in 1939. Not ’39. Yeah, after, ’40, I told you. I told you I knew her in ’39. Then we were working for the fairs. Right? Tell me about the months leading up to your arrest. About what? Tell me about the months leading up to your arrest in 1941 by the Gestapo. Had things changed for you in terms of the work that you had done for the underground? When I– You mean when I was arrested? Or how they arrested me? Before that. Leading up to when you were arrested. I was just working– still working at the chamber of commerce until they arrested me and going back and forth, you know. Then one day, when they arrested me, they came– I had been weekend trout fishing with my future husband, I was hoping, and friends. And when I came back, I was sick. I had pleurisy. I was in bed and the owner of the building where I lived came up, and he said– she said, “There’s something funny going on. There are two Gestapo who want to speak to you.” My heart– I think my heart went up in my throat. But I couldn’t do anything, they were there. They knocked at the door, and they came in. They didn’t ask me if they could, they came in. They told me, “Raus.” Get up. I was in bed. They started to go through all my– everything. They opened up all the drawers, all the closets, everything. They took everything they wanted, everything they could put their hands on. I had little books with addresses and all. They took everything. They helped themselves to everything. And I had– I was smoking at that time– I stopped a long time ago– and it was hard to get cigarettes, but John would always get me cigarettes, the best English cigarettes. They took everything. I can always see them. I looked at them and I thought, “What are they taking that for?” You know? They helped themselves to everything, everything. They told me to get dressed. I’ll always remember– It was the style of the Deanna Durbin hats, which were very stylish, and an umbrella. They said, “Come on.” It was cold, November. They made me get dressed. They took me to the Gestapo in Brussels. I didn’t– I felt uncomfortable. I wasn’t afraid though. Anyway, they weren’t talking to me. There was one sitting next to me and one driving. I could see he had a revolver there, and he was well-protected. He was protecting me. So we got to the Gestapo and there– the big chief Baganz was there. That’s where I met him. All night long, they questioned me, questioned me. In back of me– like you’re in front, a while ago you were there. There was an old guy there in back of me. Every time I– They showed me pictures and pictures and pictures and they’d ask me, “Kennen sie?” You know them? You know them? I’d tell them no. Some I didn’t know. Underground workers, there were lots of them I didn’t know. But some I did know, but I said no. Every time I said no, he’d bang me on my head, every time. He had a great big, like a bat, a flat bat, knocked me on my head. This Baganz, he was all so well-dressed, and his nails were done and everything. I was starved and I was so thirsty. I had fever. I had pleurisy. I asked if I could have a glass of water, and he said, no, I couldn’t have water. I couldn’t talk anymore anyway. He had great big silver trays come up with food. He did it on purpose. He knew I was hungry, probably, and thirsty. But I couldn’t have anything. Anyway, they questioned me that first night, must have been– We’re going to stop the tape right now. Tape number three. The rescue and aid-giver’s name is Renee Scott. Pardon me? You were telling us about your first day at the Gestapo. Please continue. Yeah. That was with Baganz. That was all, till about– Till about 3:00 in the morning. What time did you arrive at the Gestapo office? About 4:00 in the afternoon. Did they start questioning you right away? Right away. Describe the room that they took you to. Pardon me? Describe the room that they took you into for the questioning that day. Well, he asked me if I knew this one, if I had been here, if I had been there. What I had done here. What time I was there. What days I was there. Did they seem to have accurate information? Oh, yeah, they did. Yeah. They knew even the restaurants in Paris where I went with Simone. - In the months– - With Simone. In the months before your arrest– Yes. Did you have a feeling that you were being followed? Yes, I told you that. Tell me about that. I told you, I was in the train, and that individual next to me wanted to help me with my coat. When I got off the train, I felt that he was, you know, spying on me. John– his nephew used to come and meet me at the train, and I had a feeling. I told him, “We must hurry up and get out of here. There’s something wrong.” But I didn’t want to tell him why. I said, “I had a man next to me. I didn’t like him.” He said, “Why? What did he do?” I said, “He didn’t do anything, but I don’t like him.” I said, “I don’t want him to know where I live.” He always came with flowers to meet me, John’s nephew, to take me home. He said, “That’s okay.” He said, “We’ll take a cab.” There were so many people– the station was crowded– so we skipped him. He lost us, and we got back to my house. But it’s only a few days after that, that they came and arrested me. So you were in Paris before you took the train to go to Brussels. Then you arrived in Brussels, and you were on vacation for a few days, and when you returned from vacation was when they arrested you. Okay. Before that, before the man on the train, back in Paris, did you feel that you were being followed? Not in Paris, no, no. So the first time you felt that way was on the train to Brussels. Yeah, it was always from Brussels– from Paris to Brussels. In Paris by itself, no. No. You don’t think you would have been arrested in Paris? Well, if they– They didn’t have probably enough information at that time. They wanted to get more. When you went up to Brussels that time, before you got arrested, were you involved in any underground activity before you went on vacation that weekend? Yeah, I was still working with– I had brought the things. - That particular time– - Yes, yes. right before you were arrested, what was it that you brought? I brought– I can’t remember how many I brought. I brought documents and things. But I know that each time I went, I brought something. Some papers or, you know, like a yellow envelope or– I had a– What do you call it? I have it here. Briefcase. A briefcase. Do you remember specifically who you met that time before you got arrested? Who I met? Who you met, who you transferred the papers to in the underground? It was almost always at the same place, at the Unknown Soldier. An office in the building by itself. Always at the same place? And always the same person? I have an idea that they were also involved. I never knew it. When you arrived at the building by the Unknown Soldier, tell me what would happen. How would you deliver the papers? Took the elevator, went up to the office. I said I had something from Paris to give them. I gave it to them, from the chamber of commerce, and that was it. I didn’t know– I didn’t know at that time if they were involved, but after, I always thought that they were, because they never questioned me or anything. Simone, of course, was always in touch with them. She knew where I was going. You said Simone was arrested before you. Yes, not long. Maybe two or three days before me. So those papers that you delivered, they were not from Simone. They were from Simone, sure. She had given you those papers before she was arrested. Yeah. After she was arrested, weren’t you worried that they knew about you? After she was arrested? I was arrested only a few days after her. I didn’t– The owner of the building, when she told me the Gestapo were there, one time before that– I skipped this. I’m sorry. My head’s getting a little tired. A few days before the Gestapo came to arrest me, Simone had made a special trip to come and tell me– warn me of something. I never knew what. My landlady told me that a young girl had come from Paris to speak to me, but she had said she had no time to stay. That was Simone, but I never could get in touch with her. We couldn’t telephone anymore from Brussels to Paris. Everything was cut, you know. So I never knew what she wanted to tell me. A few days after that, she was arrested, and a few days after she was, I was arrested. How did you find out Simone was arrested? The Gestapo told me. You didn’t know she was arrested until the Gestapo told you? No. Baganz told me. What did he tell you? He told me that my Koncubine, my– How would I say? My right hand had been arrested. He said, “You know her, don’t you?” I said, “No, I don’t know her.” I always denied everything. I said I didn’t even know her. Even though you worked with her, you said you didn’t know her. I said I didn’t know her. I always said I knew nobody. Did Simone ever prepare you for what happened when you were arrested? Did she ever talk to you about what to do? Only on the train when we went to Germany together, when the Gestapo came and knocked on the– We were in the old wooden trains, and there was a bunch of other prisoners like us in the train, and he came and knocked and he said, “Wie heissen sie?” What’s your name? So I told him and he said, “Komm mit.” Come with me. So I went with him, and here I was in front of Simone. Poor Simone. She took me in her arms, and she cried and she cried and she cried. She said, “This is what I did to you.” Excuse me. I asked her– I said, “Did you hear from my mother, or did you hear from my family?” She said, “No,” but she said, “My sister did. Everybody’s all right.” But they didn’t know where I was. They didn’t know anything. She didn’t say anything. That was the end when they– I saw Baganz. I never got in touch with anybody. The wall was closen. I’m sorry. Okay. Let’s go back to when you were first arrested by the Gestapo. That first day that the Gestapo arrested you in Brussels, they interrogated you for hours. Hours and hours, yes. Then when they finished questioning me, they took me to the prison. The number of my cell was 151. No, pardon me, 153. Same number as my ride here. I take the ride to go to BAB. That’s my number. Anyway, 153, I’ll always remember. I was in the cell, and they threw me in that cell. There was a mattress, a dirty mattress on the floor, and I sat there with my Deanna Durbin hat and my umbrella in my hand, and I think, in the early morning, I was still sitting there the same way. I heard a big key in the door, you know, a prison door. They were bringing– They asked me, “Wie heissen sie?” What’s your name? And this and that. They gave me– They threw in a cup of supposedly coffee or something, but I was so thirsty, I drank it. It tasted like camphor. They put camphor in the coffee. They do that with the military too, you know. It was horrible, but I drank it anyway. And they left me like that, just sitting there, till about, I don’t know, probably early afternoon. I had no time or nothing. I couldn’t see anything. There was one window way up high in the cell. Then in the afternoon, they came and got me, and they took me downstairs in the prison. They took all the information they wanted about me, my name and this and that. Took all my jewelry off. Which I never saw again, of course. Then they put me in another cell in another place. It was 154. 154, next door. And there– I was in there, and I just had a bed and a little thing with water where you could get washed up. And a pail, you know. In the afternoon, I heard knocking– on the pipes. That was a code the girls gave– The prisoners would talk like that, my code. So I had to learn, if I could, what they wanted to say. Then one time– I was used to the prison after seven months of solitary confinement. I would push my bed on– The bed, you’d fold it up like a bunk bed, and you put a board on top, that was your table. But I had nothing to read, I had nothing to– I couldn’t write. I couldn’t read. Nothing. I had nothing. So I pushed that against the wall. I still was very able with my legs, I could climb. And I climbed up, and I could see them outside. They had monks– There were some monks that were arrested. Poor monks. They had great big chains. They were all chained together, and they would run like that. That was intriguing me, because I said, “What do I hear like that?” Like chains all the time. That way I saw what was going on. There were great big vegetable gardens there. The prisoners had to make those gardens. That’s where they used to go once a day, they’d go for 15 minutes. You get some fresh air. Did Baganz ever interrogate you again after that first night? Baganz? After that night? Once again, yes, once. Never again after that. He said he had everything he needed. But he didn’t have anything, because I didn’t say– I never admitted anything. So you never gave them any information that first day. No. He had everything down in Berlin. He sent everything to Berlin. When I got to Berlin, after we got off the train, we were all chained. We had handcuffs on, all handcuffed to a Gestapo guy, you know, a guard. They took us to a great big– at Alexanderplatz. There we were all put in one great big room, like you’d say this apartment. There, Simone was there with me and many other girls. That’s where they took Simone away, I told you. They came and told her that she had to go with them for a– to take baths. And we thought, “That’s good. We’re tired. We need a bath.” She never came back. They decapitated her. They beheaded her right away. Because she had suffered so much in Paris that they knew what they were going to do to her right away. They knew it. She wasn’t going to live two days. Miss Scott, let’s go back to Brussels again. Pardon? Where was it that you were kept for those seven months in Brussels? At St. Gilles. The big prison of St. Gilles, right near where I lived in Brussels. What was the food like the seven months that you were there? Food? Don’t talk about the food. Rutabaga, turnip, turnip. Three and a half years of turnip. In prison and in camps. One piece of bread a day. At the prison, we had that horrible coffee that we drank anyway, and in the camp was the same thing. In the camp we had– You know what you give to little birds? Those little seeds? We had that once a week, and we thought that was so good. They put ersatz of something sweet in it, and we thought it was good, but that’s what we had. One piece of bread a day. Once a month, we had a half a piece of a sausage. We didn’t know if it was made with human beings or what. It was horrible. But we ate it. We were hungry. You had mentioned, at St. Gilles, you were able to communicate with the other girls through the tapping. Yeah, yeah. What sort of code did you use? We made them up. We’d tell each other. If we knocked two times, it means yes. If we knocked four times, it means no. Then we were caught several times too. I remember one time, I was sitting on the floor, and I was so busy knocking and giving my code and– That key in the door and here he was, a Gestapo there. He said, “Was machen sie da, ihr Schweine!” Names, nice names. What are you doing there? So he picked me up by the collar and gave me two whacks like that. And he said, “Don’t begin that again, because you’ll go in the chamber downstairs.” So I was careful after that, because I said, I don’t want to get more than that, you know. But I used to always climb at the window and look. You mentioned the chamber downstairs? Yes. - What was that? - That’s a black chamber. They put you in a black cell, and they’d just leave you there. Nothing to eat, nothing to drink. Rats and everything else. You’d just stay there, water running down– You know, just an old corner of a cellar. They called that the black chamber. Did you ever go down there? Only, as I said, when Baganz interrogated me the first time, that first night. I had to wait until they came to get me to bring me to prison, and they put me in a place like that, but not long. You mentioned Baganz interrogated you a second time. Yes. Twice. Tell me about the second time and when did it happen? About a week after I was arrested. I had to go back and I said, “Oh, please, I don’t want to go back and be beaten up.” But they didn’t beat me that time. He just told me that he had all the information he wanted on me and that I was no good, that I was a traitor and I was a no-good, and that I would go and die in the camp. What did Baganz look like? - Describe his face to me. - I showed you his picture. Ugly. A great big strong Nazi guy. Bad– See them on the film? Did you see that Nazi on the film? Exactly him. And cruel, very cruel. They have cruel faces. They’re cruel people. Don’t you think so? That first night in prison, did you regret your work with the underground? What did I do? - That very first night in prison. - Yes. Did you regret the work you had done with Simone? No, no. What could I regret? I was there. No, I couldn’t do anything. I was crying for my family. And I said, “What are they going to think? Where are they going to find me? What’s going to happen to them and my daughter?” But I didn’t regret. And I always– It’s silly, but I always had, after that, I always had one little hope that maybe I would get out of prison. It was silly to think that because I would never get out of there. But I thought that. Sometimes you have hope. Certain things that make you think you can have– I’d look at the blue sky and I’d say, “Oh, if only I could get out and go have a walk in the nice sun and go back home.” But I didn’t regret what I had done. I did it, so– You had mentioned that there was a week between when Baganz first interrogated you and the second time. Tell me about that week. What happened? I was in prison, nothing happened. - They never questioned you? - No, no. They just left you there. Nothing to do, nothing to read, nothing to look at. What did you do to pass the time? Exercise. - Tell me about that. - I’d dance. I’d dance and I’d exercise and– I wouldn’t sing, but I’d exercise a lot. And dance. What could I do? I couldn’t even sleep. Didn’t do anything. Did the Nazi guards ever see you dancing in the cell? No. They didn’t care about that as long as you didn’t interfere with– looking too much by the window or something. They didn’t care. When was the next time you were questioned after Baganz? In Alexanderplatz. So during the entire seven months that you were in St. Gilles, you were only questioned twice. Right, then a third time in Alexanderplatz. Tell me a little bit more about the seven months that you were in St. Gilles. About what? About the remainder of the time that you were in St. Gilles, after that second interrogation. What did you do for seven months? - In prison? - Yes. Nothing. I couldn’t do anything. I can’t tell you anything. I don’t know. I didn’t do anything. Just danced and exercised. Were you able to get any information about the war or your family? No, not there. No. I tried to get in touch. Somebody had told me– tap– that John was arrested. So– This I forgot to tell you. They told me if you go to the dentist, you want to have a tooth pulled. I said, “I don’t want to have a tooth pulled.” But they said if you have an excuse, tell them that you have a toothache. You go to the dentist, and maybe you’ll see if John is there because you’ll probably see some men around. So I went to the dentist, but John was not arrested. I didn’t see any man that I knew anything. But they pulled a tooth out. I had to have an excuse. That was a crazy life. Was not an exciting life. It was rather monotonous, days and days and days like that. Nothing to do. Think and pray. It was all you could do. Once, maybe three times a week, they’d take me down to have fresh air, where I told you. They were growing vegetables in big gardens, and we had little separate gardens with– How do you say that? Fences, big fences, like prison fence. We could walk there. There was a little flower bin in the middle. You could walk around it that way. Then you could turn around and walk that way. That would last about 20 minutes, and then they’d get us back in our cell. It’s all we had. Were you able to maintain your strength and your health with your dancing? In the camp– Yes. One time, I was not feeling too well. That was all excuses. I thought I didn’t feel too good, and I wanted to see the doctor. When you wanted to see a doctor, they’d give you a little piece of paper and a pencil, and you have to write “Arzt,” doctor, so I did. I went downstairs, and I had a very big surprise there. The doctor was a charming elderly man. I had the habit always to put my feet like this, like a ballerina, and I had the ways in my hands, I don’t know what, but he said– He looked at me, and he sent his nurse out a minute, and he said to me in French, he said, “Were you a dancer?” I said, “Why?” I was afraid what he wanted to ask me. He said, “I see the way you put your feet and your hands.” He said, “I am a doctor, but I am also a conductor at the opera of Berlin.” He was at the opera of Berlin. He said, “Why are you here?” He had, like, tears in his eyes. He said, “Why are you here? Why, why?” He said, “I feel so bad for you.” The nurse was going to come back, so he said, “You come and see me again.” So he ordered– He made a prescription, and he ordered me some hot water. I was so glad, because I had no hot water. So every day, I had– for a certain time– they’d bring me up some hot water in my cell. That’s the only thing I got. But I got some hot water to at least wash myself. Oh, I’m telling you. Now I laugh. I wasn’t laughing. It was a funny life. He was arrested, this poor doctor. They arrested him because they found out he was too good with the prisoners. Did you suffer any injuries after that first night - when they were interrogating you? - Pardon me? - You said they were beating you. - My head. Did you suffer any injuries as a result of that? Headaches, headaches. Terrible headaches. After a while, it passed, but, apparently, from what the doctors saw later on, I had bled in back of my eyes. That’s why now I’ve lost my sight. Approximately how long were you at St. Gilles for? My what? Approximately how long were you in the prison at St. Gilles for? Seven months. Then what happened? Then I went to Alexanderplatz. Tell me about the journey from St. Gilles to Alexanderplatz. They took us down in the main lobby of the prison. We were all– people I didn’t know. Prisoners, like me, but I didn’t know them. They worked for other– They didn’t work for Simone. They worked– I don’t know with whom. I didn’t know these people. But we all went in the same train together. They asked us if we had jewelry, if we had things, you know, to take from the safe. I said, “Yes, I have jewelry.” But I never got it back. They didn’t give it back to me. Anyway, we waited there, and we waited there and we waited there. Then they put us in police cars, and they took us to the station. We all got in the train. Towards the evening, the train took off. I think we took about three days to get to Alexanderplatz in Berlin. When we got there– Enough? Finish what you were saying. Okay, we’re going to finish the tape now. We’re going to change tapes now. Okay. This date is February 25. The rescue and aid-giver’s name is Renee Scott. Miss Scott, we left off, you were talking about your train ride from St. Gilles to Alexanderplatz. Tell me a little bit more about that. We traveled for about three days before we got to Berlin, Alexanderplatz. And when we got to– We didn’t have anything to eat or anything. Nothing to drink or eat. They just left us there in the train. When we got– About two and a half days it took. When we got there, then we got off the train, and they put handcuffs on us. We were handcuffed to go from the train to the prison. We got to the prison. They put us all in a big room. At this, in this prison. We stayed there for hours and hours. I think the whole day. They came and got Simone and they said, “Come with us because you’re going to the washroom to get washed.” Let me backtrack. Did you first see Simone at the Alexanderplatz? No, I saw her in the train. Tell me about that. I told you, one of the Gestapo came, knocked on the door, and he said, “Wie heissen sie?” What is your name? I told my name and he said, “Well, come with me.” So I went with him, and here was Simone. He brought me to Simone. She was, like– this was an old, old wooden train with– You had them here in America, too, probably, with a door that you opened up like that and wooden seats, two wooden seats. She was there with other people that I didn’t know, that had worked probably with us, but we didn’t know them. We didn’t know everybody. She cried and I cried. I asked her about my family. She said that they were okay, that her sister had seen– I think my sister or my mother. I don’t know which one it was. But she had seen my family and that they were all right. They were okay. What kind of shape was Simone in? Very thin and sad and... didn’t look like Simone anymore. You could see she had suffered terribly. She must have been full of scars all over, but I– Her face was really very thin and sad. What did you talk about with her? We didn’t have much time. He just left us a few minutes together. I wanted to know about my family. I asker her about her family. He was right next to us, and we couldn’t talk long. She wanted to give me something, but she couldn’t give it to me. She had candy or something. She wanted to give it to me. He dragged me away. That was it. Never saw Simone after that. Matter of fact, I never have nightmares. I had one last night. I think seeing that film and talking, you know, with you, I had a nightmare. I hope they didn’t hear me upstairs. Once in a while, I get them. And I scream. What was your nightmare about? Pardon me? What was your nightmare about? About the camp, when I was so sick. I had typhus, enigmatic typhus, black spots all over me. I was in the block, of course, and I had a prisoner like me that was sick. I don’t know if she had typhus, but she was very, very sick. She was moaning all the time, moaning and moaning. And all at once– We slept four in a bunk bed, two at the head and two at the feet. And all at once, she wasn’t moaning anymore. But I was so sick myself, I thought, “Well, maybe she’s asleep.” So I tried, you know, to see if she was asleep, but she was dead. She had been dead next to me. I don’t know how long. We saw so many dead people that we didn’t– It didn’t affect us anymore. Terrible to say that, but it didn’t. When we went to what we called the washroom, to go and get washed up if we could– sometimes we had no water at all. We had no clean underwear or anything, so we would cut– We’d tear a piece of our panties to use as a, you know, to get washed with. One day, we were going to the washroom, and one of the girls said, “Oh, stop. Look. See.” We were passing the washroom. There was a young girl, maybe 16 years old. She had hung herself with a piece of her garment. We had to walk on the bodies to get to– They had like a fountain. They had round fountains in the washrooms, with all faucets, so we could get a lot of us around there. One day, we were there at the washroom, and to get there, we had to walk on the bodies. They just threw the bodies in there. Not wrapped up or anything, just there. I’m not lying to you. This is the honest truth. You can ask anybody that was in camps. First of all, everything I’ve told you, I’m not lying. This is Ravensbrück you were just talking about? Pardon me? This was Ravensbrück you were just talking about? Oh, yes. Well, no, it wasn’t the same thing. Alice’s– my daughter’s husband– he was arrested too. He was in Mauthausen. Mauthausen was– Ravensbrück was a hard labor camp for women, only women. Mauthausen, it was mixed. Then, towards the end– I was there over three years in Ravensbrück– towards the end, they put men on one side and women on the other. Mrs. Scott, let’s go back to the Alexanderplatz. Let’s go back to Alexanderplatz. How long were you there for altogether? About a week, one week, I think. And what happened while you were there? Nothing. In a cell. With other people, not alone. People that didn’t even speak English or French nor anything. Foreigners, you know, all kinds of people. They hadn’t probably worked on the– They weren’t underground workers. I don’t know what they were. We were all mixed up. Like you said, Simone never left. Simone was gone. When I came back from– liberated, I saw her sister, of course. Her father had died of sorrow, Simone’s father. Nelly, her sister was named Nelly, she considered me almost like a sister. She told me that Simone had suffered so much. She said it was a horrible way to go, but it was a blessing that they took her. At this point, you still didn’t know anything about your family. Pardon me? At this point, when you were in Alexanderplatz, you didn’t know what had happened to your family. To Simone? To my family? Oh, no. I never knew during three and a half years. I didn’t know anything. Tell me what happened after you left the Alexanderplatz. We went to Moabit Prison. There, when we got to Moabit– I’ll always remember. We didn’t go three or four or more at a time. They took me alone, the Gestapo, put me in a car, private military car, and they drove me all around Berlin. Everywhere they drove me, I could see it had been all bombed up by the good USA. And the opera building was a beautiful building. That was all– So I said, I told him, “That’s the opera. I used to dance at the opera too.” He said, “Did you dance here?” I said, “No, I wouldn’t want to dance here.” That’s the way I saw Berlin. Otherwise, I didn’t know Berlin. I’d never danced in Berlin. Anyway, they took me from Alexanderplatz to Moabit. There, they took me down, way, way down. Moabit Prison was the biggest prison in all of Germany and the deepest one. I think there were six– five or six flights below the ground. So people couldn’t hear what was going on. They took me there and, all at once, the Gestapo, in front of a desk there, he asked me my name and I told him. He had papers, and he was taking me for somebody else. I said, “That’s not me. My name is so-and-so.” Anyway, I had to stand there for a while, and I could see some poor men– I think they were Jewish men. They were hanging, but with their arms in back like that, and they were looking at me and shaking their head and saying, like, “You’re going to go through this too.” They thought they were going to do that to me what they did to them. I couldn’t look at them anymore. They were– Blood coming out of their mouth– It was horrible. Horrible. Poor men. They were just Jewish men. Of course they had probably done something against them. But they didn’t care. As long as you were Jewish, they punished you, they killed you. You know that. In Ravensbrück, we had Jewish mothers. They had their children with them. They would come and pull these little children away from the mothers and bring them in the Jugendschutzlager, the camp for the young, and they’d never see their children again. That was it. Mrs. Scott, how long were you in Moabit for? Pardon? How long were you at Moabit for? In Moabit? I think about a week, not more. I think, you know. Did the Gestapo interrogate you there as well? No. No. That was it. The book was closed there. I was sentenced to death, and that was it. What do you mean you were sentenced to death? Describe that. I can’t. They told me I was sentenced to death. They told me. They didn’t tell me how they were going to do it. They just said that “Alles ist verloren.” All was forbidden, that I was lost for the world. That was it. That the world didn’t belong to me anymore. In German, I can’t tell you that. What was your reaction when they told you that? None. I knew it. They had told me already in Brussels that I was sentenced to death. And yet, here you are now. - Pardon me? - And here you are now. Yes. Yeah, here I am. God was good to me He brought me home. It’s what I always asked. I said, “Please– I know when I had typhus so bad, I really– I was dying. I was really dying in there. I felt it, and I asked him, I said, “Please God, bring me home. Let me die at home.” I was delirious, and I got out of my bunk– we were sleeping four, you know– I got out and there were windows like that, but no windowpane, just windows. I walked towards the end of the bunks, and I was calling, “Mama, Mama, come and get me. Mama, come and get me.” The girls, the prisoners, were telling me, “Mickey, keep quiet. Mickey, keep quiet.” I could hear my name, and they were saying in French, “Tais-toi! Tais-toi!” And then one of them grabbed me. She said, “They’re going to come and beat you up, and they’re going to maybe kill you. Keep quiet. Don’t say anything.” So they put me in bed and once I got in bed, back in the bunk with them, then I calmed down. My delirium sort of passed, you know. I wanted my mother. I wanted my mother. Poor Mother. She waited for me. Remember when I– You’re not to the liberation, but, when I was liberated, she was jumping with joy. So much, that at the train station in Paris– Because I was liberated in Belgium. They brought me back to Belgium. John and his nephew came to wait for me at the airport. We were several of us. I wasn’t alone. When we got there, there were hostess ladies to give us flowers. We weren’t dressed very nice because they had taken our uniform off, but in Sweden, they gave us other clothes, but not things that were very fancy. Anyway, when I got there, poor– They were both John– His nephew and him were both John. They looked at me, and they said, “Oh, poor Mickey. We have to go and get you some clothes.” They wanted to make like a joke of it. When I got there, they had reserved a hotel, a whole suite, and John had put downstairs, “Forbidden to have visits.” I was too weak. The doctor didn’t want any visitors, nothing. Not to talk to me too much, to leave me alone. So anyway, I had a very nice dinner that night. I’ll always remember, nice dinner with the two Johns. Then they left very early and I rested. He said, “Tomorrow morning, we’ll come and get you. We’re going to take you to go and get all the clothes you want. Everything you want, you get it.” So I did. I went and got all dressed up, shoes and everything. Because then John said, “I’m in touch with your family. They’re expecting you. You can’t stay here with us. You have to get to Paris.” They had made all the arrangements. When I got to Paris, my brother-in-law, from the Guaranty Trust, was there, and my sister Yvonne was there. My daughter, of course, was there. My mother was there. Peter, my nephew that lives in Paris still, he was there. He was a little boy then. And my sister May was there. They had put– I was in a special train, but there were trains coming in with prisoners, liberated prisoners. But he didn’t want me to go in that train. He wanted me to take a Pullman and be in a regular train. So I was in that train, and they put gates so that people couldn’t go and jump and catch the ex-prisoners and kiss them and all that there. Not to get too many people together. My mother saw the barricade. She jumped over it. She jumped over it and she said, “I have to go and get my daughter. Let me get my daughter.” The police officer was so amazed to see my mother– She must have been about 70, over 70 years old anyway– to jump like that, he let her go. He said, “Please, Mama, you go and get your daughter. Go get your daughter.” I think that whole night long, I spoke. The whole night long. They asked me all kinds of things, of course. That was my liberation. But we didn’t have the liberation part with Count Bernadotte. You didn’t ask me that. Miss Scott, let’s go back a little ways. You were getting a little too far into the story. Where did you go after Moabit, after you left Moabit? After Moabit? Then we went to Ravensbrück. From Moabit, we went to Ravensbrück. Right? Did you go to Ravensbrück or did you go to Mauthausen? Yeah, I told you, only for a few weeks. I don’t count that even. I don’t count it because it wasn’t really my camp. My camp was Ravensbrück. Let’s talk a little bit about what you saw when you were at Mauthausen. I saw especially the men. More men were working than women. The men were working– Mauthausen is built on all kinds of, like, hills. How do you call it? Where they dig stones? - Quarry? - Yes. How do you say that? Quarry. I can’t say that in English. Some words I can’t say. But anyway, that’s what it is. Mauthausen is that. They make all kinds of– They dig up stones and rocks and all that. That’s what the men did in Mauthausen. We did very– They didn’t make us hardly work there. We didn’t do much. Do you remember seeing the men working at the stone quarries? - Yeah, yeah. - Tell me about that. They weren’t so strict there in Mauthausen with us because they knew we weren’t going to stay there. Yeah, the men were working hard, but we did it too in Ravensbrück. We had to do it. Not rocks, but knock down trees. We had to build the whole buildings, the women did. While you were in Mauthausen, describe to me the type of work that the men did in the quarry that you remember seeing. Chop rocks. I can’t tell you– with big, you know– - What do you call them? - Axes? I don’t know in English the words. I’m sorry. In French, we call it épieu. I can’t say it in English. - It’s like a hammer but it’s pointy. - Mm-hmm. They knock on that and knock on that and knock on that. And if they stop, the Gestapo was in back. “Come on, hurry up. Work.” Or they hit them. They would hit them. They’d beat them up if they didn’t go enough, didn’t do enough. What would they do at the quarry after they finished breaking it apart? I don’t know. Do you remember where they would take it? They’d go back to their barracks, I suppose. So you were only in Mauthausen for a short period of time. Yeah, I didn’t stay there too long. As I say, we weren’t there to stay. We were like Auschwitz. Some people stayed. We went through Auschwitz, but we didn’t stay either. It was like a transfer. How long were you at Auschwitz for? Maybe a day. In the train, we never got off. After you left Auschwitz, where did you go? We went to Alexanderplatz. It was on the way to Alexanderplatz. What I said, it took us about three days to get there. Okay, so after you left Mauthausen, where did you go? Ravensbrück. Tell me about your arrival there. We got there at night, and they put us in what they called the washroom. It was cold, it was raining. It was terrible. Great big– I want to say great big gates. Once they close that gate on you, you knew that was it. We got there at night, and they put us in that washroom. We stayed there till the morning in that washroom. Sitting where you could sit, you know. Then they told us that we’d go to such and such a block. Our first block was number two. The number two. There we had a horrible head of the block. She was a– We called her “Golden Teeth.” She had all gold teeth. She had been a guardian in prison for... murderers. She was horrible. But she got a liking to me. I don’t know why. She was a little bit nicer with me because she liked me. I don’t know why. We stayed there– Only the ones that were sentenced to death went to that block, nobody else. Approximately when was it that you arrived? Pardon me? Approximately when was it that you arrived? At Ravensbrück. At night. I don’t know what date. I can’t tell you. I mean, I can’t remember all that. You have all the dates. Everything’s written there, but I can’t remember. This woman you were describing was a female SS guard. Pardon? This woman you were describing was a female SS guard. Yes, she was. She was wicked. She was a little, skinny woman with white hair, all gold teeth. We called her– I’m going to be vulgar, because I think that’s what you say in English. “Golden Mug.” We called her like that. You say she favored you. She liked me. I don’t know why. Did you get special treatment from her? No. No, but she didn’t beat me up. I didn’t get any favors though. I had to go to work like everybody else. What did you first start doing when you arrived there? My first job? Wheelbarrow work on hills like that. Putting dirt in the wheelbarrows, going up a hill and dumping it. Go down, get another one and dump. For nothing, nothing. Just to wear you out. That was my first job. Then after that, we had to knock down trees. Sometimes we did that. Every morning, we went off with a shovel on our shoulder. After being counted– They counted us in the camp, night and noon and morning. You had to stand. They called that the still Appell. And you had to stay still. Not talk, nothing, nothing. We did anyway. - You had mentioned that your bunk– - Pardon? You had mentioned that the bunk that you were in, they were all women who had been condemned to death. Were there any Jews in that bunk? No, not with us. In the camp, yes, but not in our block, no. Tell me about some of the women that were in your block. There were Polish women, all sentenced to death. Lawyers, doctors that had all worked for the underground. There were French, Belgian and Polish. In my block. Had you worked with any of them while you were working in the underground? No, no. I didn’t know them, no. Did you establish any kind of friendships with any of them? Yes, some Polish girls that came and lived in Brussels. They lived in the same building I did. Do you remember their names? Yaja and... Ludi. Ludi and Yaja. One of them went back home, went back to Poland, and the other one I think got married, but I lost trace of her. I didn’t stay there. I went back to Paris. Did the three of you help each other while you were in Ravensbrück? Oh, yeah. We tried to help each other. How would you do that? Sometimes one would be lucky and get a pair of– What? Socks or stockings or whatever. If one didn’t have it, she’d give it to the other. That’s all we could do. We never had food. We couldn’t give food. We couldn’t do that. Sometimes we had– We’d get one little tiny piece of soap that was made with human– Human grease? How would I say? Human fat? And we’d get one piece a week. My hair– They’d shaved all my hair off. I had long hair, and they shaved it like that. They showed me. They said, “Schön alles.” It was pretty that way. Anyway, I said to my friends, “I want my hair to grow.” So I used my– I’d tell them, “Use that soap like shampoo.” So they’d massage my head with the soap. We had some laughter too. We didn’t always cry. At night, we’d be punished when we went to bed. I think it was 8:00, no more noise or anything. You couldn’t talk, no noise. But then we would sing. We’d sing a religious song or something to put us to sleep. They’d come in with the dogs. Oh, they were so cruel with us. They’d make us keep quiet. We didn’t even have that– the liberty to sing, say good night or even say a prayer. You spoke a number of languages. Yes. Tell me about some of the other jobs that you had when you first got there. When I first got there? At Ravensbrück. None. Yeah, Ravensbrück. The first jobs I had were all hard labor. Not good jobs. I only got a good job at Siemens, later on. I was sick after that. I had the hard labor, and then I fell sick with typhus. I had enigmatic typhus, and I had blood poison in my two legs. I told you, I had worms coming out of my legs, out of the holes in my legs. Mrs. Scott, we’re going to change tapes now. Hmm? - We’re going to change tapes now. - Okay. This is tape number five. Today’s date is February 25th. The rescue and aid-giver’s name is Renee Scott. Miss Scott, we were discussing your arrival in Ravensbrück. Tell me a little bit about the food that you had there. One piece of bread a day. Ersatz coffee with camphor in it every day. Black coffee. Never milk or anything. No sugar. Every Saturday, we had a little square of ersatz butter that we didn’t dare eat because we thought it was made with human fat, so we’d eat our dry bread. Sometimes we couldn’t eat the bread because it was rotten. It was all moldy, you know, moldy. But anyway– We had that, and then we had, every evening, we had rutabaga soup. Rutabaga is a turnip that they give to the cows. You know that big turnip? That’s what we had every night. Then once every– maybe twice a month, we had that food for the birds. Little grains, like, you know? They grow long like that. Then you take off the little grains. So they’d make that soup, and when we changed– The day people would meet the night people. We’d leave the camp to go back to our barracks. We’d stay in the camp, but we left Siemens’ factories, for instance, and we had to walk all around the lake to go to our barracks. We’d see the night people, so we’d yell at them, “What is it for supper?” Every day, we’d say that. Sometimes they’d say, “Millet, millet. It’s that little grain. We were happy. Oh, we were so happy. Because that was a change. We liked it, you know. That’s what we had. Then once, about every 15 days or two weeks, we had a piece of saus– Salami, like? Salami? To eat with our bread. We never had vegetables. Nothing. Just rutabaga. That’s why so many people were sick. Having turnip, turnip, turnip all the time. Never anything else. I was dying– I said, “If only I had a cracker with a cup of tea.” That’s what I wanted the most. I think we all did. Excuse me. I hope they don’t see me blowing my nose like this. You look fine. So that’s what we had to eat. Nothing– But during the Appell, you know, when they were counting us? Sometimes it would go rather fast, say one hour. That was short. That was a short Appell. But usually it was sometime maybe one hour, two hours. Maybe sometimes three hours. Sometimes the whole night long. The first Christmas I was there, they put us out naked. It was so cold. Where Ravensbrück is, it’s cold. It’s going up towards Russia. And I can tell you, it’s real cold. They put us out naked the whole night long. They only thing we could do was to stay one next to the other to try to get a little bit of warmth. One from me and me from her. Because there was one missing in the whole camp. In the whole camp when they counted, there was one person missing. So until they found that person, we had to stay out. That was a horrible– That only happened once. But that was a horrible thing. I’ll never forget. How we didn’t all die of cold, I don’t know. You won’t believe it. I never had a head cold while I was in Ravensbrück. Never. Now I’m in Boston and I have allergy. What sort of clothing did you wear? Uniform, striped uniform. And for your feet? Sometimes we had a sandal. We used to sleep with our sandals under our head, because the other women that didn’t have any would steal it from us. Sometimes they stole it, and you had nothing. You stayed bare feet. Nothing. That’s how you get sores in your legs and your feet and all that. Do you remember there being a lot of female SS guards there? - Female what? - Female guards. Oh, yes, sure. They were all– There were as many females as men. And they were wicked. They were terrible. There was one they called– She was the commander’s mistress. They called her “The Beauty.” She was really beautiful. You know what she’d do? Now how would I say? That window is high, right? She would jump to that window and land on the table. In the block, you know? She was wicked. She had a– like a police leather bat. She’d land on that table, and with her bat she’d go through hitting anybody. She didn’t care. Anybody, she’d hit. She was executed by the British. She was caught at the end of the war. I went to the trial, you know, Nuremburg. She was there. I have a picture. I couldn’t show you everything. Anyway, amongst all of them, she was the mistress of the commander. The British caught her. Well, they caught her– at the trial. I think they were allowed to divide. The French had some. and the British had some. I don’t know how they did it, but she belonged to the English part. She was executed in England. Do you remember her name? “The Beauty of Ravensbrück” we called her. I have it there in the pictures. I don’t know, don’t know. We only called her La Beauté Vache. We called her “The Beautiful Cow from Ravensbrück.” That was the name we gave her. That was even too nice. A cow isn’t bad. She was bad. Then we had a man that had a great big ring, about three times that big. He killed girls– He would kill the prisoners by knocking them here on the temple. He knew exactly where. If he was mad at somebody, he would kill them like that, right here. With his ring. And his fist. Oh, he was mean. We called him “La Vache Noir.” “The Black Tiger,” we called him. Oh, he was cruel. He was caught– I think the Belgians had him. Belgium had Baganz too. Do you remember any of the selections they had at Ravensbrück? - Selections? - Yes. - Of what? - Of people. Selections of prisoners. They came to visit us, you mean? Selections of people to be sent to the chambers. Or to be killed. There were so many, I wouldn’t know. So many that were killed. I couldn’t tell you. I know some of my friends– I didn’t know their names, but they were friends. We were all friends. When we were suffering together, we were all friends. I know some of them– They’d come and tell them that they were going to be liberated, and they were being executed. But I wouldn’t know them by their names. Do you remember seeing any of these executions? No. I saw men... hung in the camp. Our first Christmas, they hung a man, and we had to go and walk around him and look at him while we were– That was our Christmas tree. Poor man. He was all naked, and they hung him on a pole, like to make a cross, and they put his arms like– Horrible. We had to look at that. If I have a nightmare tonight, I’ll tell you. Tell me about the camp infirmary. - About what? - About the infirmary. The infirmary? You went to the infirmary if you had, like, you know, if– We were very run down. We had no strength, nothing. When we worked, we had to work in– When you didn’t go to Siemens, you had to work in factories in the camp. Right in the camp. Very often, you stuck yourself, you know? What they did, they gave you dirty uniforms where soldiers had died, and they used those uniforms, but they didn’t disinfect them or anything. Then the poor prisoners, women prisoners, had to try to sew them, put them together. They would stick the needle in their finger, and, of course, that was infected right away. So they’d go right away to, not right away. They’d say they had to go to the infirmary. Sometimes they had a finger that was that big. All disgusting looking. And you went there– If it was real bad, they’d dab it to get the dirt out. I don’t know what they put on. I didn’t have that experience, but they’d put something on it. They had no gauze. They had no bandage. The only thing they used was paper. Like tissue paper. You’d see all the girls, like me with my legs, they put tissue paper around your legs. They had no bandages. Everything went for the war, for the soldiers. So we didn’t have anything. But the infirmary, they didn’t give you anything. You were sick, you were sick. You were sick, well, die. That’s all. They didn’t care. You mentioned you stayed healthy there for a little while, and then you became sick. Yeah, I was healthy– I was sick when I got there still. They took me away from prison, I told you. I had a cold and I had pleurisy. I wasn’t too well. I got there at night. It was cold, and I caught cold again. There, I started to be sick. The first few weeks that I was in there. Then I got better and then I had to work. So I worked hard and all that. Then... I started to be very sick. First time, I had otitis in both ears, very bad otitis. They didn’t care about that. They didn’t do anything. Just... stay that way. There was one prisoner, she was from– near Poland somewhere. Beautiful girl. She was a very good nurse. She got a liking to me. So she said, “Mick, I’m going to see if I can bring you something.” But she never could get to bring me something. She said, “I’ll see what I can do in the future days.” One time then– I got better after that, the otitis, a little bit better. Then I worked again. It was in the springtime. I worked doing all kinds of things. Digging up trenches and trees and wheelbarrow stuff and all that. During the summertime, I didn’t mind it too, too much. The others either. But then after that, I started to get real sick. I came out with all the black spots, that I had typhus. I had the enigmatic typhus for five months. I never had an aspirin, nothing. Then this nurse– Where was she from? A little country between Poland– Czechoslovak. She was such a wonderful girl. She came in one night. Everything was quiet. She said, “Mick, I’m bringing you something.” I was even afraid to take it. I thought she was going to probably kill me, get rid of me, you know? She made me take it, and my fever started to go down. But that was towards about– my fourth month being sick. But my fever went down. I’m sure she saved me. I never saw her again. Never saw her again to thank her. Never. I had that. I had pleurisy. I had pneumonia. I had everything in the camp. And I never had an aspirin. You wonder how you survive. Do you ever remember having any contact with any Gypsies? No, never. They were there, but we had no contact with them. They would come to our barrack, because they had a bunch of kids. They always had kids. They wanted to see if we had bread to give them or something like that. But we had no– We weren’t allowed to. But they’d come anyway. But we had no contact with them. Were you aware of the Gypsies receiving any kind of special treatment, either good or bad? The Gypsies? That they had bad treatment? Oh, yeah. They hated them. They hated the Gypsies. If they caught one near the barracks– Oh, my goodness. I think they would have killed them. They would have. We’d always tell them, “Go away. We have nothing. Go.” Did you ever have any encounters with any doctors there? No, no. No. Thank goodness, no. Only when they– when they dabbed me in my breasts to sterilize me. Tell me about that. One day, a Gestapo came. He had the list of names and the numbers. He called out 19151. I thought, “My goodness. What’s going to happen now?” You never could tell them you were sick for this or that because you were afraid, you know? Anyway, he told me I had to come. I got on the line. There were other ones too. I wasn’t alone. They took us to the infirmary. They didn’t even put a little alcohol, nothing. Come out with a big needle like that. I was afraid. That, I daresay, I was frightened. And they dabbed me. Once here and once here. They took some tissue paper and put it there with a piece of tape. That was it. I’m surprised that it got better, you know? That there was no infection or anything. Nothing. But I must say, and I thank my parents, that I had a good health before I was arrested. I was a very strong... person. I had been well fed and well taken care of. At that point, when you had arrived in Ravensbrück and while you were there, were you aware of what was going on with the gassing? With what? Were you aware of what was happening to the Jews with the gassing and the ovens? We were aware of what was going on with the Jews and in the world. Because we made clandestin– How do you say that? - Clandestine. - Yeah. We made radios and everything. On top of the block, there was like a false attic, and we would get up there. We’d steal stuff from Siemens– wires and electrical things– and we’d bring it back to the block. We’d hide it underneath– On our flesh, you know, on our skin. So to not make any bumps or anything. Because they would come and feel you. If they saw that you had a little bump, they’d come and feel you and say, “What have you got there?” We’d try to steal anything we could. Anyway, we’d bring it back, and the girls that had notions to make electrical things, they would. I’ll always remember the time Roosevelt spoke, and we had the whole thing. Oh, were we happy. They couldn’t make us keep quiet at the Appell. They were wondering why we were so happy, why we were happy. They didn’t know what we were doing. They never had the idea– They were intelligent, but they weren’t intelligent enough that time. To know that we were making radios up there. We were so happy. They were always telling me, “You know, Mick, we’re going–” What’s the matter? Nothing. “You know, Mick, we’re going to die here.” I said, “No.” I said, “We’re now in the spring.” I said, “Sometime this year, we’re going to go home.” They said, in French, “T’es folle.” You’re crazy. I said, “No, you’re going to see. We’re going to go home.” And sure enough, that was in the spring, and towards May, April-May, they started to– We could see something was changing. They didn’t dare be quite so cruel in the Appell and things like that. Then we would see the Red Cross would come, and they would give packages for us, but we never got them. They ate them. They took them. We wouldn’t get them. Then less Jewish people were coming in. Less Jewish girls were coming in. Not coming in as much. There weren’t so many left either, poor things. But there were less people coming in, and they’d stopped the convoys of– Belgian and French were not coming in. We said, “There’s something going on here.” I said, “I told you we were going to go home.” Sure enough, the Red Cross was coming in. Mrs. Scott, tell me about your work in the Siemens factory. Oh. There we were working with little precision things. We were all at a bench, windows here, and a long bench and table here. That’s where that French girl that blew up that cinema in Paris– She was next to me. We had little tiny things, small like my little nail there. We had to work with these precision things and make long ones. We’d have to put them together. When they were almost together, we’d break them. We had to watch that he wasn’t in back of us, because he was going in back and looking to see what we were doing. Otherwise, we would have been punished. We did that. The first time they put me in Siemens, I was in a room, and I had to break rocks all night long. Break rocks. I said, “This is Siemens?” The next day, the guard was nice that was there. He said, “This is not for you. You can’t do this. You have to do something else.” So he brought me to the chef, one of the chefs at Siemens. He said, “Let me see your hands.” So I showed him my hand. He said, “What did you do in life?” I said, “Nothing. I was a ballerina.” He said, “Oh, that’s good. We need hands like that here.” That’s before I worked with the precision. He said, “You have nice dry hands, and you have little fingers. We want you.” So he put me at the benches, and I stayed there until the liberation. Not working, but breaking. I broke a lot. And I wasn’t caught. Thank God. What happened to the girls who were caught? Pardon? What happened to the girls who were caught? Oh, they were punished terribly. Beaten, beaten up. Beaten. It’s all they knew, was to beat and hurt. Were you aware that there was a crematorium in Fürstenberg? - Oh, of course. - Tell me about that. There was a crematorium, and there was everything you wanted there. Torture rooms, everything. De Gaulle’s niece, she was with me. President de Gaulle? She was with me, Geneviève de Gaulle. She was in the block right next to me. I’d see her every day. She was sentenced to death too. She was a good underground worker. So at Siemens, that’s about what I did. I always worked with precision. For submarines, for airplanes. Nothing else. Until the liberation. Did they build a crematorium? - Pardon? - Did they build a crematorium? - Oh, of course they did. - At Ravensbrück? Oh, a huge one. Tell me about that. I can’t. I never went in the door. I don’t know. It was just a brick thing with iron doors, great big iron doors. You could smell it. Night and day, it was burning and burning. They came up, like an oven, big ovens. They pulled that thing out. They put the body on it, and inside it went. We saw it. That we saw. Do you remember when they built it? No. It was built before I got there, no. That’s been there a long time. Ravensbrück still goes back to Ravensbrück. The people? That I gave you the little paper there? Every year, they go. To respect Ravensbrück. They’re always asking me to go, but it’s a long trip for me. First from here to Belgium and then Germany. Tell me about some other incidents at Ravensbrück that we haven’t spoken about. Well, Ravensbrück was built on top of water, apparently. I suppose it’s true because there were great big– on the ground– There were great big– Like you’d say iron, like you’d say doors? Mm-hmm. But they weren’t doors. It was like a plate, you know. Like a plate, a flat plate? They always told us, “If anything happens, we will flood the camp. That they would open up those things and let the water come out. So very often, when they were mad at us, they would tell us, at night, that they would flood the camp, and we couldn’t get out. We’d drown. I didn’t see it. That, I didn’t see. But incidents– we had all kinds. Like, in the summertime, it was so warm there. In the winter, we froze to death. In the summer, it was terrible. Lots of people couldn’t stand the heat, and they’d faint. We weren’t even allowed to pick them up. You could not help anybody. Neither from the cold nor the heat. Just leave them there. They forbid us to touch them. Anybody. No help. And then what happened to the girls after that? The ones who had fallen down? Well, when the Appell was over, you went. I don’t know what happened to them. I don’t know what they did. We didn’t know them all, you know. They were all people that were being counted, like I was, but I didn’t know them all. Did you have a number of SS guards in your barrack over the three years you were there? - Did I have? - Did you have many guards? Oh, we always had lots of guards. We had women and men both. We had permanent women all the time. Then the men would come in with dogs and make a round. You know, make rounds to see if we were keeping quiet or if we were doing anything. I do remember one thing, though, I didn’t tell you. Towards the end, when we could feel things were going bad, and I had no shoes. The roads in the camp– Some were up, some were bumpy, some were flat. Anyway, they decided that they were going to make– What do you call the ashes from the coal? Coal ashes, you know? They put that on the ground. Bare feet– we had to run on that, going up the road. So when you got at the top, the Gestapo there, if he did like that, that meant you were going to stay there. If he went like that, you could continue that way. It was a good sign. So the girls told me, “Please, Mick, do your best.” I was so weak. I had had typhus so long. “Do your best, Mick. Try to get up that hill and try to go right.” And I did, but I had sent a long prayer. I said, “Please God, make me go to the right side, the right side.” And I did. And you know what happened? I got up the hill, to the top of the hill, and I was so happy, so happy. I couldn’t find my strength, but I ran. And I ran to the first barracks. There’s no window– There’s windows but no pane. I jumped into there. That’s where they found me, sitting down against the wall. The girls looking for me. Prisoners. They found me sitting there. They said, “Mick, what are you doing there?” I said, “I don’t know. I probably fell asleep or I fainted. I don’t know what happened.” I was so weak, but anyway– Pardon me. After that time, that’s when– After they did that experience, then the Appell was only one a day, instead of three. I’m sorry. They started by coming and telling you, “You don’t have to go to work today. You can stay there.” We knew there was something going on. We knew that Roosevelt had done something good. For us. For everybody. Excuse me. From that time on, as I said, the Red Cross was coming a little more frequent. Frequently. They would bring vitamin pills, which we never saw either. They would take them, but the Germans took them for them. The Offizieren and– you know. The officers would keep them for their families, not for us. Anyway, we didn’t care. We said as long as they’re bringing stuff in, that’s a good sign. Mrs. Scott, we’re going to change tapes now. February 25, and we are currently interviewing rescue and aid-giver Renee Scott. Miss Scott, tell me about your liberation from Ravensbrück. As I said, we were getting towards the end and we felt it. We knew everything was getting out of order, no more order. We didn’t have to go to work all the time as we did before. The Appell at 2:00 in the morning was not given anymore. The guards were coming to the camp drunk. They’d drink, come to the guard– They didn’t know what they were saying. They didn’t know how they were counting us, nothing. So everything was going really– breaking up. So then, two, three days after that, they came in the blocks, and they said that they would come later on and call the numbers of people that had to go up front. We called that the Champs-Élysées of the camp. There was a grande place, a big square. When we were called and we went out there– Lillian and I and some others, of course– there were all desks out there with an Offizier, and papers on all the desks. There were about 20 desks there. Then they called your number, and you had to go to the desk. They asked you– what nationality you were and where you were going to– if you were going to Belgium or to France or whatever. They took all that, the information they wanted, and then you’d go back on the lines, all standing up in lines. They kept us like that a whole day long. That was bad. All day long, we had to stay there in line. That was really cruel because they– On purpose, they took us all around the camp, walking around the camp, when they had finished with all their paper stuff, and they stopped us in front of the Gestapo, because we were kind of afraid anyway. We said, “They’re trying to make believe they’re going to be nice.” But we have no faith in them, you know? Anyway, they stopped us in front of the lake, and the crematorium was right in front of the lake. We said, “Gee, maybe they’re going to stick us here in the crematorium alive.” They did that with others. We weren’t surprised, you know? So Lill said, “Listen, if you see they open that, we’re going to jump in the lake. You stay with me. Even if we can’t swim, it’s better to die in the lake than to die in that oven.” We stayed there and we stayed there, hours and hours. They kept opening up that– the oven, and making it work and closing it. On purpose, to frighten us, you know? So anyway– Around, I would say maybe 4:00, it was late, 4:00 in the afternoon, here we started to move a little bit. We were so glad to get away from that crematorium. We started to walk and walk and then they– Along the lake, all the officers’ homes were there, beautiful homes. They walked us near the lake in front of their homes there. From there, there was a little road that went up to Fürstenberg, to the village of Fürstenberg. That’s the only nice– The only nice thing we had when we were being counted, when it was a nice day, we could hear the bells of the church. They brought us up there, and we had to stand there a long time. We saw this road. We could see far, far, far. And after, it must have been about 7:00 at night– It was still very light. We saw, coming down the road, great big trucks. About four of them, coming down that road. We thought, “My goodness. What’s that?” It was Count Bernadotte. Were we happy. Oh, we were crazy. We were jumping. There was a– In front of the cars, there was a– Like an ambulance, a big ambulance. He was in the first car, in a white car. We wouldn’t let him get by. We wouldn’t let him get by. We were jumping in front of the car. He said, “It’s all right. Don’t worry.” He spoke English. “Don’t worry,” he said, “I’m here now. You’re okay.” But that– Oh, her name was Bines. You wanted to know the mistress. You want to write it. B-I-N-E-S, Bines. She was there, and she was still hitting us with that bat. He was looking at her. He couldn’t tell her to stop. But she was still hitting us because she saw we were so happy. He said, “I’m not going to be long, but I have to go.” So he went into the camp to talk to the commander of the camp. Bines’s boyfriend. He went in there and he stayed for a while and, apparently– Now, how true this is– This is what we were told. Don’t tell me it’s not true or it is true. I don’t know how true it is. Apparently, he made a– How do you say? - He negotiated? - Mm-hmm. - Is that correct? - Yes. He bought us for gold and for flour. He gave the Germans flour and gold to get 165 of us. He bought 165 of us that day. That was the first transport. I was in that one. When he came back, we wouldn’t let him get by either. We said, “You can’t go, you can’t go.” He said, “But you’re coming too. You’re coming too.” All those military trucks had big, you know, but there was no door. They had like a shade that comes down. I can’t explain that. Lill and I were always together, so we took one of the last ones. Excuse me. We got into those trucks and apparently the Red Cross had– Red Cross packages? They were giving them out to us. I don’t know why. I think I was one of the shortest, but I didn’t get any, but I didn’t care. I said, “I don’t care. I want to get on the truck.” We got in the truck and there were two ambulances that followed. Some prisoners were too sick to get in the trucks. They put them in the ambulance. We started to get off and all these trucks were driven by volunteers, American volunteers. Boys that were soldiers over there and volunteered to take us away. So when we start to go– It was getting dark, about 8:00 probably when we started to go. We went and we were all so tired that we just fell on one another and just fell asleep. All at once, we woke up, Lillian and I. We heard, very, very quietly– We heard that thing going up to let the air come in. Then we heard– Somebody said, “They’re all right, they’re all right.” So Lillian looked at me, she said, “Did I hear something?” I said, “Yes. I heard ‘They’re all right.’” So we looked at the boy. He was an American boy. I don’t know where he was from. We said, “You speak English?” He said, “Yes, I’m American.” “Oh,” we said, “Gee, we speak English too.” So he took us– There were two of them. They took us in their arms like that, and they put us down on the ground. They said, “Now you keep quiet. Don’t say anything.” “Oh,” we said, “We’re so hungry. We’re so thirsty.” “We’re going to give you something.” They put a blanket down on the ground, but we were running away. The Germans were spying on top, the planes were. So he said, “No noise and don’t talk until we tell you to talk.” So he put the blanket down. He said, “Would you like some tea?” “Oh, tea. What’s tea?” They had the little military things that you can’t see. I don’t know how they do it, but anyway. They had a military little stove or whatever. I don’t know how they do it. With batteries probably. I don’t know. Anyway, he made us tea. And he gave us something to eat. Oh, my goodness. We didn’t know how to thank him. He stayed with us. Then he made us get back into the truck. That same day? Yeah, that night. They were bombing right near us. We were right, right near. So the commander of the convoy said, “No, we can’t go yet. We have to stay.” So we stayed there, and the next morning, early, we started to go for Lübeck. That’s at the border of Denmark, almost Denmark. It’s Germany still, but it’s one of the last– You know where Lübeck is probably. We were going to Lübeck and before Lübeck, we were shelled by the Russians. They said they made a mistake. That they thought that it was German convoys, because the Germans put crosses on all their, you know, their convoys. The Germans were getting in between our cars. They were coming too. They were going towards Lübeck. They were following us. But they didn’t dare do anything to us. The Russians said they made a mistake. Anyway, we lost 85 prisoners on the road. There were heads here and arms there. It was awful. The little driver– In Germany, there are a lot of– I don’t know now, but there were what they called saucer roads. The roads with, you know, road like that and then big ditches like that. He had the présence d’ésprit. He thought, “I’m going to dip them in.” And he dipped us in that ditch. That way the plane went on top of us. It didn’t hit us. We got out of that bus as if nothing was– You would have thought we were a bunch of chickens running away. Where we found our strength, I don’t know, but we got out of there. When the Red Cross came to look– They were with us, you know, following us. They came to look for us. We were sitting there, opening up the packages to eat. We didn’t think of anything. Then he said– Told us he had sad news to tell us. That we had lost a lot of prisoners. Then we had to get back in the trucks. Getting to Lübeck. We got to Lübeck. They’re German people, but apparently they didn’t know what to do to try to make us a little more comfortable. Some had made soup. Some wanted to give food and all kinds of things. So we did. The Red Cross said we could accept it. It hadn’t been probably tested. I don’t know. Anyway, we ate a little bit there and then– From there, I think they transferred us to trains. In Lübeck, right near where the convoy came. They put us in sanitary trains with a nurse and a doctor. The ones that could sit up okay. Those that were too tired had to lay down. We were normally going back– going towards Denmark. They wanted to take us to Copenhagen. We got– I think we were about– I don’t know– maybe 50 miles away from Lübeck, and they started again, shelling. They stopped the train. They made us get down. We had to hide again in the ditches and on the side. Then we got back in the train. I think we didn’t go too, too far with the train. They put us back again in buses. In a bus, I think, like a sanitary bus. There we went– That was one night, two nights. That must have been the third– That happened in the morning. That was at night. That was the next morning then. We went maybe till noontime. Then they put us back again in a train. Got back in the train and there we went to Padborg. We were at the Danish border. Padborg is the first city that we met, and we got off in Denmark. When we got there, the music was waiting for us, a big band, the mayor was there. Flowers were there. A huge, great big farm– like they have in Denmark– beautiful farm. They had transformed that farm into a village for us. There were doctors, there were nurses, there was a restaurant. There was everything, everything for us. They wanted us first to get all washed up. They had made washrooms and everything. We had to get washed up with the help of a nurse. They gave us something clean to put on, like an overall, clean overall. Then we had to go and rest. They wanted us to rest at least one hour. So we went and rested in folding beds. All clean, all made of paper. Everything is paper in Sweden and Denmark. Everything is paper. So we rested, and then when we got up– with the music they got us up. The mayor and diplomats from the city and other cities came and spoke and all that. They had great big long tables set, beautifully set. Flowers on the table and all that. They served us a dinner like we hadn’t seen in three and a half years, I can tell you. We had dinner, and then they made us rest again a little bit. Then they put us back in trains, but we were a little bit cleaner. Not clean, but cleaner. We got back in the trains. We were going to travel in that train to Copenhagen. It was quite far. The Red Cross came and spoke to Lillian and I because we spoke English. He said, “The Gestapo is on the train, but don’t worry because they will come, and they’re going to try to frighten you, but ignore them. We’re here. Ignore them.” But we were afraid anyway, because they had revolvers. You know, they didn’t care what they did. We continued to go and, eventually, one of them came and said to Lillian and I in German, “You think you’re going to get home, but you’re not going to go home. You’re not going to get that far.” We made believe we didn’t understand what he said. We continued to go, and we got to Copenhagen. In Copenhagen, they got us off the train, and they were going to put us on a boat. We got to a boat, and that boat was turned into, like, a hospital. Like a hospital boat. There, a doctor– We got two doctors. As we got on the boat, he just looked at us a little bit, asked if we had anything special that we wanted to be taken care of. We were too nervous. We wanted to get on the boat. We didn’t care. We got on the boat. That’s what we called our dirty boat because we were still dirty. We got on the dirty boat, and they served us something to eat again. We had something to eat and then– I think it was about early evening– maybe I’m mixed-up with my times– but early evening, it was still light. They told us that we were going to change boats. But before changing boats, we were going to go in buses. We were going to go to a school in the city, in Copenhagen. We thought, “School? Why a school?” But that school was all turned into a department store. On one side, it was like a hospital. Doctors were there, all separate rooms. Nurses were there. You had to go to see the doctor, and he looked at your ears, your eyes, your throat and everything to see if anything special. Then you went to the nurse, and she took other tests. Then you went to a washroom, and a nurse was there, and she’d give you a bath. Each one had a bath. You’d get out of there, and you’d go into the department store. They gave you like a– What? A kimono? Like a little kimono to put on you. You’d go into the department store. Everything was marked, the sizes. There you had stockings. There you had shoes. There you had underwear, all kinds of underwear. Everybody had the same thing. The little Dutch overalls with little Dutch wooden shoes. It was cute. Little red ones and little blue ones. We were all dressed like Dutch. Everybody was Dutch. When we got out of there, they said, “Now you’re going to go in a clean bus, and you’re going to go all around the city.” So we got in buses, and the people didn’t know what to do. They were all there, their arms full, cakes and candies and everything they could give us. When we got through with that, they took us back to the clean boat, going on a clean boat. From there, we were going to Malmö on the boat. That’s where that German, that Gestapo, had said, “You’re not going to get home.” He said that there would be a bomb that would blow up the boat. We got on the boat, and we got to Malmö very nicely. It took about two and a half hours, I think, from Copenhagen. When we got to Malmö, we were taken to the museum of Malmö. That’s where Lillian and I were interpreters. At the Malmö museum. When we got there, we stayed there for– I think about a week. A week or ten days. There, they put selections of where we would go. We were sent to Pytterud. That’s about... 90 miles away from Stockholm. In the country, way out in the country. We went there, after the week we stayed at the museum, we went there. We stayed there until we got home. I think when we got home, it was probably in May or something like that when we got back to Belgium. My brother-in-law, Yvonne’s husband– at that time, he wasn’t at the Guaranty Trust anymore– he was director of the British and French Bank in London, but he had come back to France, and her too, to see me, to meet me. When we got to Malmö, stayed there, then we went to Älmhult, and he got in touch. A Swedish officer got in touch with me, and he asked me where my family was. I told him and he cabled to Paul, my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law sent a big check and he said, “Now you offer a great big dinner to all your companions that are there.” We lived in a little wooden school in Sweden. We stayed at that little wooden school all the time we were there, and there was everything there. You could cook. You could do anything you want. The nurse was the minister’s wife. She went and did all the shopping, and we had a great big dinner. We had a good time, I’m telling you. So that’s the way we stayed in Malmö– Pytterud, I mean. Then from Pytterud, the day we had to leave to come back, everybody was crying. The whole village was crying. We were crying. We didn’t want to leave them anymore. They were so good to us. That’s why I say Sweden is my second country. They saved me. When did you first come in contact with John after the war? - Pardon me? - With your fiancé? Oh. He got in touch with my brother-in-law. My John told my brother-in-law that I was safe. He got to know it first because he was also director of the International Red Cross in Belgium. So he got to know it first. So he told my brother-in-law. They were very friendly. That’s the way– the way it finished. Happy day finally came. - You were eventually reunited– - Pardon me? You were eventually reunited with your family in Paris. - In Paris, yeah. - You told us earlier. First with John in Brussels, and then from there, I went to Paris. And what happened after you were reunited with your family in Paris? Oh, I had to rest and see doctors. Doctors visits. Have a very quiet life until the doctor said, “Now I think she needs a change.” So we went and lived in the south of France. We went near Nice. John took care of that. He said, “Well, we’re going to find a place where you can stay, where she’ll be well taken care of with a family.” He rented a great big place right near Nice. Twelve miles from Nice. Along the Riviera. We had a good time. Alice, my daughter, was there too. Everybody came, the whole family. We stayed there– We had that place for about three years, over three years. Beautiful place. It was called La Villa des Violettes. The villa of– villa is a home– of the violets. It was loaded with violets everywhere. We had artichokes and we had figs. You walked on the figs. We had big things of figs at the table. All the time, fresh figs. What did you do while you were there? Just rested. Nothing. Going bathing. Rested. Nothing. I needed a rest, I’m telling you. You were with your mother and father as well? No. Father died in ’40, 1940. My mother was there. And the family would come from Paris. They’d come visit and stay the time they wanted. There was room for everybody. What did you do after that? Then I went back– Well, when we went back to Paris. We left, finally, Nice, because my daughter was getting bigger. She wanted to find a job. We went back and we had our apartments in Paris. Pardon me. So we went back to Paris. What did I do? I didn’t do much of anything. I didn’t really work. I worked in the fairs, and then John was still there. I was working for him as secretary. He traveled a lot with the fairs, so I’d go with him. Traveled a lot. Worked with him. When did you come to the United States? 1959. Tell me about that. Well, my daughter married a G.I. Unfortunately, a bad G.I. She was very miserable. She went through everything bad with him. She had three children. Two girls born in Paris and Marc was on his way. I told her, “You can stay here with me in Brussels if you want to.” Things were not going good, you know. I said, “If you want to stay here, you’re welcome.” She said, “Well, if I go to the States, maybe I’ll try, maybe it’ll be better.” She came here with the two girls and expecting. Marc was almost born on the ship. I think he was born a few days after she arrived. They were so cruel to him. Alice had real long black hair, way down. Her mother-in-law took her by the hair. She pulled out her hair so much, she had a great big bald spot. Her hair was gone. She pulled her hair right out of her head. She was so mean to her. The husband wasn’t good either. He didn’t care if the children had food. He didn’t care about anything. What are your two granddaughters’ names? Pardon me? What are your two granddaughters’ names? Patricia and Carole, with an E. And Marc, with a C. So you eventually followed your daughter to the United States. Well, not right away. I wanted to see what was going to go on. She wrote letters from the police station here in– right here. Right up here, it used to be up here. She went there. She had to go to the police. They were beating her up all the time. He wouldn’t even buy medicine for the baby. The baby was born at the New England Hospital. She said she couldn’t take it anymore. She was writing me letters, sad letters. I was so worried. Only have one daughter, and my mother, in between, had died. I was terribly upset. I said, “I’m going to sell everything, and I’m going to America.” So I sold everything. I had everything new because the Gestapo had taken everything. So I had everything new in my beautiful apartment. I just sold everything. Lillian helped me. She helped to sell things. And I came here to find my poor daughter living down at that horrible Bromley-Heath thing there. That’s where she was living. I got her out of there as quick as I could. I was lucky to find a job almost right away. I found a job as hostess in a French restaurant. It was better than nothing. I was very happy. They were my first friends here in Boston. You’ve lived here ever since? - Pardon? - And you’ve lived in Boston ever since. Yes, right here in Jamaica Plains. I understand you have some beautiful great-grandchildren as well. I have three beautiful great-grandchildren. I have my grandchildren. I have Marc, I have Patricia, and I have Carole. And I have three great-grandchildren. I have Jennifer O’Halloran, I have Danielle O’Halloran, and now I have Curt Lieber. - Congratulations. - Thank you. Mrs. Scott, we’re going to change tape now. - Pardon me? - We’re going to change tapes now. Okay. We’re interviewing the rescue and aid-giver Renee Scott. Miss Scott– please tell me why was it that you got involved with the underground and helping the Jews during the Second World War. I told you I started with Simone, very evasively, because I had to go to Belgium several times. She got a passport, and I started to go like that. She asked me once if I would bring documents, and I did without knowing they were documents, but I brought papers in Brussels. I did that several times and then, one time, I got back to Paris and she said, “I have to tell you the truth.” She told me what she was doing since already a long time. I think maybe she started in ’38. I don’t know. She was very young. Then she said, “Here’s what you’ve been doing for me. Have you any remorse? Or do you think I should not have asked you?” I said, “No. I started. I’m continuing.” That’s it. Do you have any advice to give to people today about helping other people? By helping other people? I think you should be a little more careful than I was if you have responsibilities like I did. I had responsibility of a daughter that didn’t have her father with her. I think maybe I should have thought, “Well, my daughter needs a mother with her too.” That I didn’t do. I think people should think. I didn’t think enough. I think they should think what they’re doing a little better than I did. I don’t regret it though. I don’t regret. I’m glad I did it. Do you have any last words you’d like to say? Excuse me? Do you have any last words you’d like to say? Yes. I said through all my ordeal that I can say that I always trusted God, and I knew he would bring me back. I always prayed for all my friends I had left, especially all my family. I knew they were looking after me although they weren’t with me, and I knew I would come back. I didn’t know how, but I knew I’d come back. I still thank God every morning and every night for bringing me back. I am happy for what I did do to help people. I will always try to help people. I’m very happy that I was able to help so many Jewish people. Because I did, through Simone, I helped them. Mrs. Scott, on behalf of everyone who’s seen this– I can’t hear you. On behalf of everyone who has seen this or will see this, I want to say thank you for everything you’ve done. Thank you very much. I want to say thank you? I’m saying thank you to you. Right, that’s what I said, thank you very much. Well, I did it. I did it with all my heart. I’m always ready to help people. I don’t say I’d go back into camp though. But I’m always happy to help. I know my mother at a certain time had reproached me that I should have told them something because they suffered a long three and a half years of silence without knowing where I was. If I had told them, “Well, you know I’m doing this and this,” then maybe they would have said– Our minister tried to find me in Belgium. He couldn’t find me. Everywhere he went, they said, “She’s gone without leaving an address.” That meant you were dead. So, of course, my parents, my family suffered a lot by my silence. Thank you, Mrs. Scott. - My name’s Renee. - Renee. Renee Mickey. Don’t mention it. I’m happy if I can help. If this is any help. I don’t know. So, you’re going to send me a tape? Who is the photo of? My parents’ wedding in Calais, France, in 1897. How did you get the photo? My mother gave it to me. Who’s in the photo other than your mother and father? My grandparents, my aunts and my uncles. Aunts and uncles and both grandparents, grandmother, grandfather. Can you name any of them specifically? Starting with the left. I can’t see that way. I know there’s my Aunt Edith, my Aunt Sissy, Cecille. Any more ladies there? Amelia. There’s my grandma, my grandfather. On the other side, there’s my father and my mother. On the other side, my uncles. There’s my Uncle Emil, my Uncle George, my Uncle Paul and one more uncle, I think. One more uncle. Rene. Thank you. Just say it again. This is with a troupe from Paris. It was called “Voici Paris.” In Tunis, North Africa. Who’s in the picture? All the dancers, part of the dancers and actors in the troupe. We were waiting for a couscous dinner. Now which one are you? With the white thing on. Black dress and a white collar. Your sister’s in there as well? Yes, but I can’t see where she is. I think she’s climbing the tree there. She’s in the tree somewhere. How did you get this photograph? How did I get this? Oh, my goodness. When we took it, they all gave us a picture. The boys from the troupe took it. Approximately what year was it taken? It’s written in back. 1930, I think. I think so. You saw it yesterday. Remember? There was some better ones than that. You didn’t take the better ones. That one’s worn out. This is a picture taken in Nancy at the opera where we danced for five years, my sister and I. Who is that a photograph of? That’s a picture of me, Renee Scott. Approximately what year was that taken? In 1931. This is a picture of my sister May and myself in Lille. This is in Lille at the opera, but in between times, we had the opera and we had the– the lighter, Sébasto Theater. That was taken at the Sébastopol. Always in Lille, north of France. Approximately when was that taken? 1931, about the same date. Which dancer is you? I am on the left. My sister May on the right. This is a picture taken in 1940, beginning of the war, with Simone and I at the Belgian Chamber of Commerce. A few months before we were arrested. How did you get the picture? She gave it to me. Which one is Simone? Simone is on the left. Lieutenant parachutist. Sorry. That’s Lillian, one of my very best friends. She was a lieutenant parachutist for the international underground. She survived a shot that she received by the Gestapo in her back, came out under her heart. She survived that because she was saved by farmers, right in the field where she dropped. But she killed the German. The farmers took care of her and got her better. I met her again in the camp in Ravensbrück. What was Lillian’s last name? Freter. F-R-E-T-E-R. Do you know approximately when this photo was taken? That’s after we returned. Probably 1945. How did you get ahold of the photograph? She gave them to me. I was her best friend. I lived with her. This cross was presented to me by the Prince Regent of Belgium, Prince Charles of Belgium. It’s mounted on a pin that the Countess of Croix from Sweden gave me before I took the ship to come home. My badge is mounted with six stars. It represents the Legion of Honor. This plaque was offered to me at B’Nai B’Rith up in Chestnut Hill at a big dinner that Mr. Larkin and his friends offered to me in recognition of what I had done during the war for the Jewish people, and I’m very happy to have this in my hands. These pictures were taken at– Not city hall– What’s the other one? Government Center? Well, yeah, but where Mr. Dukakis was. - State House? - Yeah. They asked me if I would come and tell some of my experiences about the Holocaust, which I did. I was very happy to have been able to talk to everybody. Mr. Dukakis was very nice. Also his wife, Kitty. Who’s this gentleman in the picture with you? That is Cardinal Law with me. Approximately when was that taken? That was taken in 1990, I think. I remember his name. This was taken 1990, the same day, as I was speaking up for Governor Dukakis. Here we have the speaker of the house– I don’t remember his name– and Governor Dukakis, myself telling of my experiences, and there’s Kitty and Cardinal Law. This is a picture taken after the dinner at B’Nai B’Rith in 1981. The dinner Mr. Larkin and his friends had offered us. On this picture, there’s my daughter on the left. My granddaughter Patty, Patricia. My granddaughter Carole. Patty’s husband, James. And myself in the middle. Paris. I don’t know. There’s no date on the photo, of course. This is a picture of my daughter taken in Paris. I presume it was in– early ’40– ’44 or something like that. What was the context of the picture? Was this from a movie? Nothing. I don’t think she was in the movies there. But it was one of her pictures from the movies. That must have been. This is a photo of my grandson who is now a lieutenant colonel in the marines. That’s when he graduated from Suffolk University here, I think, so it’s quite a number of years ago. Now he lives in California. He is now the father of a big boy, five months old, almost five months old, by the name of Curt Lieber. He’s a wonderful grandson. Did a good job. This is a story that my wonderful little great-granddaughter wrote about me. She goes to Latin Academy School. They asked the children to write a story on their family, somebody of their family. She chose her great-grandmother, who is me. She wrote a story about me, about all my experiences in the camp, and I think my return. She won a computer of $3,000. From– I don’t know who. Oh, the one that makes the spaghetti and all those things. They’re the one who gave the computer. I think she really made a very good story of it. She had a lot of research to write what she did. She got pictures together. I never knew anything about it. She surprised me with it. What year did she write it? A year and a half ago. - 1995? - Yes, ’95. dissertation wvu library Pleasantville campus.

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