Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Biegun - August 10, 1983

Looking for Family and Friends in Zhetl

Before we continue this journey because it goes for a while longer um, when you went back from the woods to your hometown, do, do you remember thinking you were going to see members of your family?

Yeah, I thought maybe mine father is still alive or my mother is still alive, I mean, you know, how did we, didn't, you know, you don't talk about it, nobody talks to you about it. You don't know what happened. You know, you see your mother fall, but you really don't know if she died or maybe she's there. I mean, you see people with children and parents, I mean, you don't know that but later on after the years passed, you know, you get used to it, you don't know, you don't have the parents.

Did you look in the town? Did you look in Zhetl? Were you walking around looking to see?

You know, oh they told me, what's the point to look around. I was too young to know where is what. I just remembered mine house. I used to go a lot back home there. A Russian family used to live there, and I used to go for a little while went to school after the war, you know, when we stayed in Zhetl. So I used to go there and ask the lady if I could come in the house, look over the house. I said this house was ours once, and she let me. She was nice. She let me in and, you know, I looked around the house.

Was this the house maid that...

The house was built in 1934.

But you said you had a house cleaner who was, a...

Oh, the ??? the lady, no, this was another family.

But she helped you, this housekeeper.

Yeah, sh...she had a couple things, and uh, we when we came back, she was still alive and she had a couple of things, you know, little things she gave us, souvenirs from the parents.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn