Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Biegun - August 10, 1983

Preparing for Resistance

You went back to the ghetto after that?

Yeah, we came back to the ghetto because they needed the people, you know. dressmakers, shoemakers, all these people, they needed them. So we went back there, and the ghetto was smaller. They made it smaller, and the young, young people, they starting to organize, like to run away to the way to the woods, but we didn't know that. One of the nights we stayed with the auntie and uncle, and the houses was close together, the Jews, and she says we have to go away, but from the beginning, we went to a bunker. It was like um, in Europe, it's like a, it's like a basement here but there it was very small. They used to take, preserve for winter, they used to...

Like a fruit cellar?

Yeah, and they digged it somehow under the floor, so there would be more room. I think there, I'm not sure, but I hear them talking. I think there was about 22 people there, I think.

So you were hiding in a bunker?

Yes, underground for a couple of days. Because, it wasn't clear. No. They had--we had to have somebody come and tell us it's good to go, you know, to cut the wires and run away to the woods.

Who would come? Other Jews, or non--Jews?

No. This was a couple Jews, they worked, you know, they had Jewish guys, policemens there in the ghetto.

The Jewish Police. I see. Uh, you also had a Judenrat.

Yeah, the Judenrat was Jews, a lots of Jews, but the, you know, it wasn't like another ones, working with the Germans. They were listening and hearing and helping, you know, organizing.

Were they preparing, organizing for resistance?

For resist...to run away to the woods. Because there were farmers already waiting there for them.

Do you remember anything that happened particularly that, while you were in the, in the basement?

Yes. There was relative of ours, you know, I don't want to mention name. Uh, she had a baby and she was feeding it, breast--feeding. I suppose with all the aggravation, the, the milk was, you know, not so good, and baby got cramps, start crying. The people say because of the baby, the German would capture us. She went out of the bunker, in, upstairs in the room, laid down on the bed to feed the baby, and then she saw German coming. She left the baby on the bed, and she came back in, and the German took the baby, you know. Then she wanted to go out back, but the people had to stuff her mouth she should stop screaming and stuff like this, and the little door wasn't closed enough, so we heard all crying, the baby was crying, you know, and the German couldn't figure where the baby was there because a little while before that, they were there, and they couldn't see nobody, so they couldn't find--they couldn't figure out how the baby got there, so they started digging, but somehow it was much--the door--and on the door was jars, you know, with all the, so they couldn't find the little door for the--so that's it, and then the same evening, we run away to the woods.

That night?


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