Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Asner - October 10, 1982

Finding Transportation

And uh, and then, we used to come in, come in, in all the areas where we need some horses or wagons or something like for transportation. We used to go in or we take ourself or we ask the leader from the village or something like that and they used to give us. One time, that, that time the leader ours, they told me to get some horses for transportation. I took a couple horses and I drive 'em to the village. And then one village down there, not far, by the Nieman, it was far away, af... the... And uh, not far from them, and then later I was riding the horses they jump out from the villages to me and they want to grab me. By that time it was all the, the, the Russian was killed at the same time because some kind, a change in politics at that time. And I had by my... uh, with me a, a twin-barrel rifle--automatic--and I have a pistol and a couple grenades. And I start to defend myself. And I said the first one will come in, I'll... You'll, you'll get it. Finally they jump, some jump around maybe about twenty of them around me. I, I don't... I done two in the first shot and I was wait uh, fighting and this and this and this and backing up. Finally I get it out, I get away from them and I came to deliver and I told them what, what's happened. I said, I said something bad, something's going on wrong over here. It's not like used to be, because the villages was uh, sympathize with us. And then it was wrong. Excuse me. [interruption in interview]

Everything's changed, in the population, the, the attitude to us is... Everything is changed. Then we come close to a place on the Nieman River, maybe hear something about Bielski, a Jewish leader was uh, around uh, Novogrudok. He was... He had a group, he was a popular man. He, he's a, he saved a lot of people from Lida ghetto. And they was ambushed by the police on uh, on that Bielski's group and they run away. And maybe about forty people in that area we met and they want to go with us from the Bielski group uh, men, women, no children, just uh, girls, men, women. We said we couldn't take uh, you because we got far to go and this and this. They want to cross the river. On the other side, you know, it's a big river like, it's a little bit smaller like Detroit river. And they couldn't cross the river. Then we... Finally we get somehow know the villages on the other side who brought some boats. We crossed that, that river with them people. Because the river... We left them down there on the other side.

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