Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Getting Registered by Germans

First--I mean, 1939.


Still, the first...

Yeah, yeah. And we didn't understand yet the ramifications. Nobody uh, knew. I mean, they were just, they were, I mean the Germans, they were, they were not organized yet. They were--it was still a very fluid situation, and Warsaw wasn't taken yet, and there were, you know, tanks going in all directions, troops were marching hither and yon, you know, and stuff like that. So when I, when I sort out now, you know, later, and put it in its proper context, I realize that, that was really my first brush with death. It was the first miracle, really, had happened. I remember sometime later--and again, you know, I don't vouch for the dates, before or after, you know. Some could be earlier, but I'm just recollecting. I remember two Gestapo officers came from Pułtusk. Pułtusk was the city. It was a larger city than Nasielsk about fifteen miles from us, and they--I remember they came to one Jew who was sort of uh, almost an attorney or something like that, and he also stayed on in the city, and they ordered to make a list of all the Jews that lived in the city. I remember we got to gather up all the boys and girls in our house, and we were writing lists, and they said they will come back in three days. They want the list and they want uh, five kilos of gold, and I remember we went around from house to house collecting rings, watches, gold watches, whatever it was, and I don't remember what became of it, you know, who it was, but, um, they said they were going to be back in three days. They want the list, they want five kilos of gold handed to them, or everybody dies, I suppose. I don't know. They didn't talk to me, but this was the gravity of the situation.

They were registering.

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