Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Smuggling in the Warsaw Ghetto II

How did you get the potatoes in?

On the outside you could buy it. There was a Polish...

When you came back through the gate into the ghetto...

The gate? Well, sometimes, you know, you had them hidden or something. Remember you see the pictures. That's where they had the empty out. Sometimes they had you empty out, I was lucky they didn't...

And then you'd sell the potatoes?

...and then--no, bring them home.

Oh. Do you uh, remember the--was it the Koźla Alley?

Koźla, yes. I remember a little street. It's a little, tiny little street.

Is that where a lot of smuggling went on?

Yes, that was bordering, you know, where the wall was--the Koźla. Q:???

But you know, it's a story, you know. When do I see Saul? I didn't see Saul until he came to Detroit because he has a brother here, Meyer. He came before the war. So Saul comes to Detroit and he comes and uh, asks for a job. So, I gave him the first job in Detroit. That's how we learned, you know, about the scrap business because I already worked and I was a big shot there. But ??? I hadn't seen him from, since 1941. And the next time I saw him was in 19...1950. I mean, it's not that long--about 1950. Really, it was only--but...

It's a lifetime.

Yeah, but it's a lifetime. You know, it's like to hell and back.

Was it dangerous to smuggle? You could have gotten caught at the gate.

Yeah, oh yes, of course. You never knew what the whim was going to be of a particular guard.

Were these Polish guards, Jewish guards, Germans...

No, no, no...

German guards.

No, these were Germans.

What about the Jewish police in the ghetto? Did you ever have any contact with them?

The Jew...yes, the Jewish police uh, some were rotten. Some were very, very arrogant, you know, because those were the uh, privileged boys that were picked. You know, you had to bribe yourself into it to become--be able. A refugee like us were not even accounted--we didn't even count. But those were the sons of the rich Jews in Warsaw--not all of them. But those--it was survival of the richest. And they had a special type of uniform. They made it up themselves, you know. Like a coat...

Black coat.

...with a belt and a hat that they, they got and the boots, you know, like officer's boots. And some of them were real nasty. They beat you up. I remember one time when they had the Seuchen Gefahr, you know the epidemic of uh, typhus. They would take out whole buildings. They would quarantine buildings and take everybody out with all their clothes and take them to some kind of a, of a disinfecting laundry. They would throw all the colors and everything together and you get the stuff out, it was totally ruined--all the bedding and everything. And these police would conduct all that. They would chase the people around. They were so bad. I personally really never, you know, they were, you know, keeping traffic around Gryzbowska, where we used to report in the morning to work and they would be like the hirelings of the Germans. German give him the order and he would follow and you know, and then we would march in battalions, you know, the streets of the goyishe side and led by the Jewish policemen, you know, things like that.

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