Skip to main content
USF Libraries Exhibits

Staying Behind

George Salton interview by Dr. Carolyn Ellis

GS: And there were no choices. One couldn’t say, “Well given this, I would do this or that.” There were no choices at all. No, no positive choices. And going through that misery for relatively short time, the announcement of the people in the ghetto would be because there’s crowding because there is not enough food, not enough space, which was crazy, we all knew that. People in the ghetto will be transported to a empty factory farm, which—in Russia it was called Kohós, deep in the occupied Ukraine, occupied now by the Germans, and then people will be moved there, the trip would take, the train trip would take three-- to take food along for three days and the climate will be such and such, to bring the right clothing, and everybody will be transported there to work on that farm, except some 700 to 800 people whose papers were stamped few days before this announcement, and it just so happens, that when they stamped my brother’s name, they are stamping the papers of people who were in the twenties and early thirties, when they stamped my brother’s name, he arranged that they should also stamp my paper. I was only fourteen, and the Germans, I am sure, didn’t realize when they stamped my paper that I was only fourteen, and the announcement was that everybody would be sent to work on the farm except those 700 and 800 people whose papers are stamped, and they are allowed not to go.

I wanted to go with my parents, my parents didn’t have stamps with them, I wanted to go with them, I was fourteen, they were the framework of existence for me, I loved them and they loved me.