Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Samuel Biegun - February 13, 1983

Life Under Russian Occupation

When the Russians came in, how did they, how did they treat the people generally when, when they came into the town?

Uh, some of them they treat pretty good, you know. I mean, especially the poor people, you know, they were happy for them to come. But they took the uh, the wealthy people and political, you know, to educate them, send them back to, to Siberia. They took the man's--and most of the men the took in the camps.

Wife: Working camps, didn't they?

Yeah, labor camp.

Were there a lot that they took?

Maybe thousands.

All supposedly political prisoners?

Political, yes. And, and, and relatively rich people.

Wife: Yeah, but not all of them were political, but then they sended out because the one political.

No...

Wife: ???

Cousins.

They shipped your whole family.

The whole family, yeah.

Wife: Cousins and uncles and aunties.

How did they do it? What, what did they do? They came up to your door--how did they, how...

Well they came and arrested like home arrest, you couldn't go out or in. They told us not to talk, be quiet.

They had a guard at your door?

Sure, they had a, a few of them. Not just--in the house.

Did you know why you were being arrested? Did your family know why they were being arrested?

No, not, not really, but one of my cousins uh, they took him away, you know, to Siberia. They say he was, uh...

Wife: They took him, they took him away before you got arrested?

Yeah, because he was a--he was working for the Polish uh, government against the uh, he gave out all the communist uh, names, some--that's what--I don't know if it's true or not.

Wife: Sam, come on.

How long were you under house arrest?

Overnight.

For one night.

For one night and then the next day they uh, took us to the train and shipped us.


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