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Questionnaires and Pupils’ Responses from the Hebrew Gymnasium at Bergen-Belsen DP Camp

1. How long have you been attending the school?
I have been attending the school since the end of the vacation.

2. With whom do you live? (Alone, with your family, in a kibbutz)
I live in a kibbutz.

3. Which camps were you in, and what did you think when liberation came?
In 1939, when the Fascist army invaded, I escaped to the USSR. My parents stayed in Poland. My first thought after the liberation of Poland was to visit my parents and to talk with them about what we should do with our lives, but when I returned to Poland in April 1946 I didn't find anyone, so I had second thoughts, to go to Eretz Israel, and for this purpose I found a group, which is the kibbutz.

4. What made you come to this school? What did you do before you came to this school?
On my way from Poland to Eretz Israel I stopped at Belsen in August 1946. Up to the beginning of the school year I was busy with the kibbutz's organizational concerns, and since I now have the chance of exploiting my potential, I decided to study.

5. How have your feelings changed during your studies?
The studies give me a lot of useful knowledge.

6. What did you find at the school, what did you want to find, and in what were you disappointed?
I wanted to learn Hebrew as fast as possible at the school.

7. How much does the school encourage you to live in Eretz Israel?
The school does not help much with the questions of adaptation to life in Eretz Israel. We have not yet had any talks about Eretz Israel and talks to persuade us that only Eretz Israel can solve the Jewish problem and not America or other countries.

8. What is your relationship with the teachers?
I feel great trust in the teaching staff.

9. What do you want to do in Eretz Israel, what sort of work and why?
I want to go to Eretz Israel, to work and fight for a Jewish state.

10. General questions.
Questions and answers, Grade 1

1. How long have you been going to the school?
I have been going to the school for three months.

2. Do you live on your own, with your family, or in a kibbutz?
I am alone and live on my own.

3. Where were you during the war?
During the war I was in in Poland, in a camp, and then in Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Holzen and Dachau.

4. What do you remember from the liberation?
I started to look for my relatives, but unfortunately I didn't find any of them.

5. Why did you enrol at school?
1) So I could get to Eretz Israel.
2) So I won't have an empty head when I get to Eretz Israel, so I will have knowledge and know a little Hebrew.
3) So I won't be bored...

6. What did you want to achieve in school? What have you achieved, and in what have you been disappointed?
I wanted to regain what I had forgotten over six years, and I hope that bit by bit I will manage this.

7. How does the school train you to live in Eretz Israel?
The school prepares us for life in Eretz Israel on kibbutz.

8. What is your relationship with the teachers?
I am grateful to them for the effort they make to teach us.

9. What do you want to do in Eretz Israel?
I want to help to build up our country and to go on studying.

10. What do you want to study and why?
I want to go on studying and to study in Eretz Israel. I want to learn a trade. I want to thank the teachers for their hard work.

Yad Vashem