Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Asner - October 10, 1982

Organizing the Underground 2

Then uh, finally, I don't remember exactly, we get in touch with them and we met, we met each other. We met each other and that was, I think, abou... about September in 1942 or maybe later. And that uh, uh, leader from that group was, his name Ivan Ivanovitch. And he was a very bright guy. He was a, a lieutenant from the army. And he was, I, I don't know how to call uh, this in, in English. He was a, he finished uh, political school. A politruck, like in, I don't know how they call it in English, politruck. That's a political school and he wa... he was finished. When he finally... He want us, like our four brothers, we know good the area and everything and we know all, and we was uh, been in the army, to join him together to make a underground. And he was writing a daybook, a diary, every day he was writing every day a diary. And uh, in that place, where we been before was uh, occupied uh, Poland. And they took a... apart was a river down there, they include that area to the Third Reich. They include that area. And they was living--the, that's the Germans, they include that to the Third Reich was a river down there--and they was living in the Third Reich. And the winter's coming closer, 1942, and we don't know how we going to survive wintertime in the, in the woods without experience, uh... And they already, them five people, they been already one winter. We joined them, we start to prepare food for 1942, '41, '42 for winter. We were... Down there where in the Third Reich where we been... where they been was uh, poor people mostly. The area was uh, mostly poor White Russian and Lithuanian people uh, villages. Poor. We used to go far away to get some food. Food, what kind of food we can get? Like uh, potatoes, it's pretty hard to get because it's very hard to go in. We couldn't go in with a horse and buggy down there in some areas. And mostly we carry on the horses. Cattle... We used to bring his meat. And prepare some flour for baking bread. The... They kill uh, cattle used, used to bring, the cattle used to walk by itself. And flour we used to carry it on our backs. We used to go... And some potatoes too. I used to carry myself, and some other men like me, around fifty kilogram potatoes on the back and a rifle and grenades all together. We used to go, we fell down like... And that's all the, the all uh, from where we used to get the, the, the food from the areas these took bags about twenty and twenty-five kilometers. We, we don't want to bother the close villages. And that's the way we prepare food. And some people in fall--didn't have no choice, winter is coming--they went back to, in ghetto to Grodno. When... They went back to ghetto in Grodno, and then they live in Grodno for, for a, for a time. Then, I don't remember exactly which time they start to kill the people in Grodno. And some make their way back to Natsher Pustshe. And by that time we was already with them, that group, with the five people down there in that, in Third Reich.

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