Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Escaping to Russia III

...and uh, so, the next morning we see what, what they, what they meant when they said that the uh, you know, the Russians would walk up closer to the forest line. And we see Russian soldiers and every time you get a little closer, you know, the Russians yell out, ??? you know, which means, go back, ??? you know, which is like an insult. "Get the hell back," you know. So, we walk back. And then, it must have been--I don't know, leaders, in this group of people, you know, they had been there for so long. And they organized a push on the forest. They lined up women and children and forced them toward the forest. And that day--I mean that was the next day. We were fortunate we only stayed, you know, one day. And the Russians they kept shooting in the air and threatening and the women and the children kept marching and the Russians retreated. It just--I don't know, they went back for orders. I'm sure they didn't have walkie-talkies in those days--cellular phones, so they rushed back for--to get instructions what to do--whether to shoot the people or not. And everybody was dispersed. Everybody started running. We started running--my brother and I--we started running through the forest. And I remember the first little town on the Russian side that we came in was a little town called Zaręby Kościelne. So, if you know the Treblinka area, that's right near that. We came into Zaręby and it's a funny thing an episode that there were some people from Nasielsk that uh, live in, in uh, New York. I was at a Bar Mitzvah a couple years ago, their name was ??? and he called me, you know, at the same Bar Mitzvah, and he said to me, "Moshe, you remember an episode where you came into Zaręby Kościelne in that village??? I said, "Yes, I remember coming in, but what's that got to do with you?" And he says, "Do you remember? We were in an attic in one of the houses and you came in there. I don't know how you came in, and you came in and we were there several days, we were very hungry." And he said, "I asked Moshe what can you do for us? Help, we're hungry. And you said you had a bread under your arm." And he said, "And you gave it to us." He says, "I'll never forget that." He said, "This is my whole life I've been thinking about it." He says, "What you did, what you did..." He says, "In those days, a bread meant..." you know. He says, "You gave me the bread." He says, "I can't understand it." And its something I don't even remember.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn