Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Erna Blitzer Gorman - July 12, 1989

Still in Hiding

Did the farmer begin to put more pressure?

Oh, constant...constant pressure. As a matter of fact, you know, my sister said, I don't remember that, but my sister said that he would constantly tell us to leave and you can't blame him, because you know, he would have been shot and his children. And I remember once my mother, um, they disguised my mother, that was probably in the beginning, when we were in the beginning of the two years, um, as a peasant, she disguised herself as a peasant, she made herself look like the farmer's wife and she went somewhere, maybe the town nearby and because they wanted us to leave, but the town was filled with Germans and she somehow by a miracle slipped by and she came back and I remember my parents, say "no we are not going to leave", and I constantly see them begging the farmer. The wife was.. I think that the farmer himself was deeply religious and he probably couldn't face God or whatever, I think that is what my father held over his head, what if you die and how will you be able to face Jesus, whom he believes in.

It didn't seem to worry his wife though?

No, she was much younger, but he was old, she was a young woman and that is why they had the young children.

You never then met the children in all that time?

No, they never knew, once there was, it must have been the second year, um, he came in saying always that there is rumors that farmers were hiding Jews and he one time he let the children open up the barn because he had it under lock and key and they must have been wondering, or maybe other farmers, I don't know, anyhow, once he let the children in below to take some things and re-locked the barn, once though, and I wish I knew when in that period it was, he came, I could see his face was absolutely in a panic and what we did is we crouched against the roof line and he put more hay into the loft area, so like even on the blanket, there was hay, so we were almost just like squeezed totally into hay, the militia came and the children were jumping on top of the loft, I can see them, I can hear them jumping and you could see the hay moving back and forth and there must have been all the Germans or the militia because one of the bayonets were near my head, but you could see them every few inches, they were going probably with the rifles, like this, now why did they not burn the barn? Why didn't they?...I ask myself this question, how, why did I survive? I don't understand it.

Didn't they usually burn the barn down? Didn't they always do that?

At least what I hear, I don't know. It is to me it is, there are all of thesesequences, I should have died, all of these times. I just remembered another incident that I never even spoke of, it must have been in one of the camps, can I jump back?


There must have been very much in the beginning because we were, is it okay? Is there anybody here?

We were talking about the arbitrariness of survival when the Germans came, they said they were searching with bayonets, searching the hay and almost narrowly missed you and you were about to tell me of another incident that had taken place earlier in the one of the ghettos.

Yes, as a matter of fact, what I remember is that we were in a building. In front of the building was an apartment for German officials, and we had a small little room in the back of the building and um, when they were gathering the Jews, they were in fact coming for us and but when they saw that the German official lived in the front of the building, they did not come in and search for us and that was one way, it was strictly a fluke.

Do you think that the official knew you were living there?

I don't know, but I remember I have a feeling because I remember I think he liked my mother. I have thatsense that she was very pretty.

So, he had at least talked with your mother?

I have that sense that he did, yes. Right, I have no concrete evidence? I think it was just luck.

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