Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Being Ill

So then, as '42 went on, I remember one spring day I started feeling bad, you know. I didn't feel good and, you know, a fever set on and I sort of suspected that I am getting typhus after a few days. But I worked feverishly and did all the work until I could hardly, could hardly walk. And the woman says--she says, "Do you have typhus?" And I said, "No, no, I'm fine. I'm fine. I'll work." And anyway, it went on an extra few days--I couldn't lie about it anymore because typhus, you know, is prevalent with a high fever and you get like a 104 or 105 fever. And it's just you're on fire constantly and there's no medication, nothing. So, anyway, she called in the sheriff and everybody was afraid to go near me. I was like a leper. And they said that they are going to have to order uh, in Polish it was called ???--requisition a farmer, you know, to take me to the city and drop me off in the hospital. And the hospital in Vengrov was still open, you know, it was like a Jewish, you know, it wasn't a ghetto. There were Jews still living there and they had some kind of a makeshift hospital--just like in the hospital where my brother was dropped off in another city. Anyway, they took me there and all I remember was like a room with beds. Beds on the right and beds on the left and beds in front of me. And I remember there were several Jewish women and a man that were nurses. They had white coats. And, I remember I went into a, a sleep because I later found out that I was there four weeks and I thought that I was there overnight. And I remember, every morning I'd wake--I'd be up and look and I'd see two people--two men come in and carry a body out on the left, you know, with a bed sheet. They'd have him like this, you know, with a bed sheet carry him out and bring in another--this side, and that side. And I remember dreaming, these are the things that--that I was tremendously thirsty. That whenever, this is ever over that I will buy a river and sit at that river and do nothing but drink. This, this I remember, from that nightmare. I don't remember what they fed, if they fed me anything. But, I remember when I finally one day--I opened my eyes and I saw where I was. I asked, "What is this all about? What's going on?" and they told me. I remember eating a bowl of soup of potatoes--potato soup with a little milk in it. It was like a white soup. That I remember. And then I said, "I want to get off the bed. I gotta go back to work. I got to go back to work." They said, "No, you can't get off the bed. You've been laid up for four weeks." I said, "What, me? Just, watch me." I got out of bed and I fell flat on my face like I had no legs.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn