Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Samuel Biegun - February 13, 1983

Arriving in Siberia

You were in Siberia.

Yes.

Northern Kazak...

Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan. Could you, could you spell that? Is that--here we go with the spelling again.

Wife: That's close enough. English is hard to spell because you don't pronounce everything.

K-a-z-a-k-s-t-a-n. Okay. So they took you in trucks. Was everybody from the train taken on these--in these...

Yes, yes.

...trucks.

The different towns and villages, you know. And I don't remember how many families but roughly about couple dozen.

All right, and where did the trucks take you?

About a hundred miles away from the train station, so we shouldn't run away, you know.

Were you still not fed?

No. They just dropped us in the middle of the village. That's it.

That's it.

Yeah. You're on your own.

What were you supposed to do? They didn't take you to a work camp...

Nothing.

...they didn't take you any...

No, no.

All right, they dropped you in the town--in the village...

Yes.

...then what happened?

Well, the people uh, some of the people took--everyone took a family in for the time being, until, you know, start uh, to find some place. They felt sorry for us.

Were you able to take anything with you, a suitcase, some money, jewelry?

Very--no, no money. We didn't have no money then. Uh, we took some stuff, you know, like uh, blankets and bedspread, you know, because they said, "We got everything here, don't, don't worry," they got everything. When you came there, they didn't have no sugar, no uh, the only thing they have bread, you know, flour and uh, and vegetables they had.

So you lived with a, a Russian family.

Yes.

For how long?

Approximately about nine months, a year and then we found a--we rented a house and we start working a little bit, you know, and uh, being up.

Wife: Yeah, but your father wasn't with you.

No. Then--well, he was a little later. My father worked a little bit--a carpenter, you know, he was a carpenter. And uh, that's all we had to, to pay with food, you know, they didn't have no money now. It was everything traded in, you know, I'll give you work and you give me food, and we go in the fields and dig potatoes. I was very young and I had to go to, you know, to work and earn my bread and my money to eat.


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