Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Working Under False Name

Pronounce it for me. Z...Zhadislo?

Zdzislaw ???. This is ???.

You picked a Polish name with a vengeance.

It was named--it was based on a birth certificate that somebody stole for me.

What's ???

That was the--he was Bescheinigung, you know what a Bescheinigung means? Declared the Arbeiter so and so. ??? is employed in this building area of Kostry Noski

And that's the history behind it? April 22, 1943.

Yes, ??? was the company. Straßbau which means highway builders.

Okay, was this the Todt Organization?

No, no...

It was a private company.

It was a private company that they, you know, a German company and when they were in Poland, they would look for workers. And I needed--see this was my ticket to life. The more little papers I had, it built my legitimacy because I came out of the ghetto with nothing. And little things like that, you know, were very, very essential to my--okay, this it was my Kennkarte card--eventually, when I got it...

In Białystock.

...and this is the front of it.

This was when you were in Białystock.

Yeah, but that's where I eventually wound up, you know, when I escaped. You see then when the Germans took this back...


Yeah, here. When they took that picture, this was like my--I was seeing the executioner. That's how frightened I was. You can see the look in my eyes and its like a--I retained an amount of arrogance in my mouth--something that like, you know, you bite your lips. But I think if somebody looked deep could see in my eyes--could see the fear, because this I had to go to Gestapo headquarters...

Is this the police?


It's 1942.

Nineteen forty-two. Look at the description.

Doesn't say where you were born.

Yeah, Geburstag, the Geburstag--there's the date of birth. Geburtstort, which means the birthplace.

Oh, so this was name you were born with?

Yeah, yeah. This is--really applies for a woman, the name given and the name born, yes, yes.

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