Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Planning to Escape the Ghetto

How was your little brother David in all of this?

You know, I look back, it's like, it's like his face is already slowly disappearing, you know, the images are becoming so vague. I don't, I don't even remember. He was uh, very close, you know, to my mother. She would never let him get out of hand--get away from her. So, you know, sometimes I think, maybe if I'd uh, taken him with me, maybe, maybe, he could have survived. But on the other hand, I think that they would never have let him go, never. There's no way that they would let this uh, boy go, you know, a five year old.

Your parents?

Yeah. It was uh, see uh, how that come about--this went on day in and day out, you know. Everybody is going around, you know, literally biting their hands. There's no such thing as mealtime. Everybody looked at each other like everybody is a--like an extra mouth to feed. Do you understand that the, the, the feeling that everybody felt helpless and guilty and what do we do? And uh, and I just--how it got to me, you hit your head against the wall. What do you do? What is this? How do we get out? And uh, and I remember everyday I would go up the street and probe and listen and pick up that so and so, you know, there were rumors--so and so escaped to here and so and so has got a deal there, and so and so is in a sewer. You know, I come home and one day I heard that there is a new deal. The streetcar, you know, that connects Warsaw from two sides of the Aryan side goes through the ghetto and when it hits the entry they stop, there's a German and there's a Polish policeman.

Do you remember which gate is that? Which street?

I know the gate going out. I don't remember which gate was coming in.

It doesn't matter.

And uh, they said the Polish policeman rides on the steps, you know, as the streetcar goes non-stop through the ghetto and for five złotys he lets you on. And then if they don't catch you on the other side, fine, you're on the outside. So, we decided--we organized five of us. There were--let's see--a boy named Alter ??? a boy by the named of Simon Kaminski, Label Yedkoff, ???, my brother--my older brother--and myself. Five of us decided we're going to take the chance.

Did you tell your parents?

Yes, I came home and told them. Said, "Craziest, this and that. So and so got shot and so and so..." We said we're going to try.

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