Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Burdowski - May 13, 1982

Being Separated from Family

Did you know what was happening?

No. Nobody realized. Nobody--when, when they--when the Germans come in--like I was the first--the reason we were split up and I was sent to camp uh, alone, was they come in and they said uh, on a Monday, let's say--they said that if you send uh, one of the family into camp--to labor camp, they will leave you alone--the whole family would be left alone. Then finally uh, a, a few days later they took my two brothers anyway. But because I was sixteen I was youngest in the family so I says, "I'll go and spare the family." But we didn't realize what was happening. Nobody actually realized what was happening--was going to happen. We just went. We had a, a nice synagogue in, in the city, and also a bet ha-midrash. That's all, just two. And public school, we went to public school, which that wasn't the greatest thing to do, but we had to go. It was very bad in, in the Polish--for a Jewish boy to go to a Polish school was very bad.

Is that how most of the Jewish children went...

We didn't have no choice. We didn't have a Jewish school. But after the school--after the public school uh, the kids went to cheder just for a couple or three hours a day. That's how we learned Yiddish. Yiddish was our main uh, mother tongue.

When were you split up from your family? When was the last time you saw them all?

In 1941.

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