Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Burdowski - May 13, 1982

Life Under German Occupation

What did you--what were your plans before the war? What were you going to do when you grew up?

I really couldn't tell you because I was too young. I was only fourteen years old. When I was sixteen I was living in camp. I mean, before I went to camp, the first two years you had to go to work and, and work for the Germans. Do all kind of uh, all, all kind of work. In the winter you cleaned the snow on the highways and uh, in summer you had to clean there--we had a little lake there and we had to clean the lake all summer. And then finally when we get to the camp--I was too young actually to, to realize uh, to think about the future.

I know that none of your family survived. Did you have any friends from the village that survived?

Uh, from the whole uh, thousand people that we had--thousand families, that uh, after the war--I wish I have a picture of them--we were maybe thirty that survived and they're scattered. Some of them are in, in uh, America--all over scattered in America, some of them are in Israel and some in even in France.

Did you go to the memorial gathering in Israel? Did you go this year?

No. I wish I would.

Maybe you can tell us a little bit more about your experiences after the Germans came.

Uh, at home?

That, that--they--was your family together after the Germans came or did they split you up right away?

The only one who, who were split was, was my brother who went uh, who the first time they took him to work and they beat him up, and the next day him and quite a few friends of his, they just went to Russia the next day. So he was the first one to be split up from the family. And uh, the rest--oh, and my brother when the war broke out, he was in Polish Army and uh, he was uh, taken in as prisoner of war and then released to be taken again to camp.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn