Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Incident in the Market

How long did this kind of behavior go on? I mean, this daily terrorizing.

This went on every day. Oh, yes. I forgot to mention one other story. There was also--I think it was the first week, and they came in. Suddenly the uh, Germans were running around and chasing Jews into the market place, and there were maybe--got there--my father and my uncle, and we got there--there were maybe sixty, seventy people lined up, you know, standing around, and soldiers with machine guns on tripods set up. I didn't understand it--what it was, and you know, there were a lot of Poles that were pushed in there, because they thought they were Jews, and they were yelling, "No Jude! No Jude! Me no Jude!" you know, and this type of stuff, and the Germans hit them in the face, "Get in line." And we stayed there for about, I don't know, about a half an hour. I didn't understand what it was all about. Suddenly, a staff car drove by and stopped, and an officer came out and talked to the SS trooper in charge--sergeant who was discussing back and forth and back and forth and finally the officers, they saluted each other. The officer got back into the car, drove off, and the soldiers came over and said, "Okay. Go home." Then later, you know, by the pattern of what, what they were machine gunning, you know, people, all the Jews to death, this was our first test. We--at the time, we didn't realize it. Because, I think it would be--our minds would not have accepted at that time somebody told us that we were just saved from being machine-gunned.

The whole family was taken? Or just you and your brother and your father...

I think just the men. I think it was just the men. All of a sudden, I mean, just out of nowhere, the German running, "Right! Right! Raus! Raus! Off the street, off the street!" you know, and they grabbed people and just lined them up, and so later, when we heard, you know, in every city where--and a lot of cities where they came in, somebody would give an order, "Let's kill the Jews right there," and they would machine gun them and bury them. So this was uh, one of the miracles that happened. What the conversation was, we don't know, and we will probably never know.

This was 1940.

No, no, no. This was '39--the first day.

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