Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993


Was there typhus?

Yes, there was typhus. It was prevalent. They would, you know, I told you--I don't know if I mentioned it or not in our last conversation, but they were quarantining whole buildings and streets--closing up and taking the people to some kind of a bath. They took all the, the stuff from the houses--all their clothing and the bedding--and they threw it into some kind of a tank and it came out all spotted and just literally destroyed. But, a lot of typhus--a lot of people were dying. In our house we were not, but I don't know, you know, how. But, of course, later on when we were on the outside, we both got sick--my brother and I. But that's later.

You both got typhus?

Yes, after...afterwards when we got out of the ghetto. But in the ghetto, our family was uh, fortunate, we didn't uh, we didn't catch typhus. But, we were a part of the quarantine also. One day, they took everybody out from the building and we were someplace all day. And then, let go at the end of the day, you know, and they really destroyed--everything was shmates. You know, they, they mixed all the colors up and it just made a hodge-podge of everything.

So, they took your clothes and put them into this vat?

Yes, yes.

You saw several bodies in the streets. It was a daily occurrence.

Yes, yes, and we just got hardened to it. Uh, you didn't pay attention. At first it was, you know, something that everybody looked and stared. And after a while, it just, just uh, didn't concern anybody.

What happened to those bodies, do you know?

Eventually, I used to see, you know, there was a black wagon, you know, in the street. There was Pinkerton--I think Pinkerton used, used to be a--before the war it used to be like Ira Kaufman, in a funeral house--a funeral home in Warsaw. I think the Pinkerton people used to go around and collect the bodies, just take them to the Gesia Cemetery, you know, pile them up. You could see sometimes--you could see people follow. Sometimes nobody followed.

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