Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Forced Labor Duties

What was the street? Do you know?

Gryzbowska, Gryzbowska. And we'd show up early in the morning and then the Germans would drive up in trucks and they would yell out, you know, fifty pieces, ???


Yeah, and they would assign and they kick--throw you on the truck and you didn't know where you went.

This is Wehrmacht.

Yeah, it's all Wehrmacht. They take us out to the airport and we would sledge hammer all the broken concrete, you know, to take out the iron and reinforcing bar and do odd jobs. One time, I remember I was taken to the uh, Gestapo headquarters and I scrubbed the kitchen floor all day on, on, on my knees, you know, with Brill-o and I scrubbed the tile. And I remember a big fat German who was a cook, stirring the pot, and every time he walked by he stepped on my hands, you know, and he would stay and waited for me to yell and I wouldn't--I didn't. You know, walk around--he just stepped on my hands. I mean things like that. And uh, I remember one time they took us to a church--to a Russian Orthodox church in Praga--which is the other side of Warsaw--to take out all the books and all the paintings, whatever. We drove in trucks, and uh, we used to--they used to take us to clear the snow off the streets of Warsaw. And the big frost--it used to be so cold. I remember in 19...uh, the winter of 1940 and 1941. No, in 1941 of May, that's when I escaped the ghetto. But during the winter of 1940, and up till May--also at the year of 1940, and the winter from 19...yeah, 1940 going towards '41.

Forty, '41?

Yeah, '40, '41, that winter.

How did your father hold up in all this?

You know, they were davening...

Still davening.

...in a building. They were davening, they had minyans in the building--Lubavich Hasid, they used to walk around, ???...

Be good.

...be good ???. I remember he was very, very depressed. He was, you know...

[interruption in interview]

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn