Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Vengrov Ghetto Begins

Had you heard of--started to hear of Treblinka?

No, no not really...


...because this was still close to Warsaw. It's like 40, 50 miles from Warsaw--Kałuszyn, Vengrov--all these cities are very close. This was from our first trip as we left Warsaw. Then, as the summer progressed--that summer, you know, I was working, you know, doing all the uh, chores on the farm, word came that all--no more Jews are allowed in anyplace, anywhere, other than designated ghettos. And for our area, the closest ghetto was Vengrov--that's where I had just come from the hospital.

Did they know you were Jewish?

Well, these people, you know, I worked for, sure. There were still Jews in that village.

This was in ???

Yeah. So, anyway, there was, you know, this village had like uh, maybe 30, 40 families of Jews, you know. Cattle traders, farmers, you know, shoemakers, barbers and you know, people lived there from before the war. And uh, so anyway, everybody was panic stricken. Everybody was going around and everybody was a family deciding what they're going to do, where they're going to go. And most of them--all of them opted, you know, to go to Vengrov because there was no place to go and that's it. This was the end. Everybody had to be in the ghetto and whoever by such and such date is not going to be in the ghetto, will be summarily shot and that's it. So, anyway, the last day came to for me to leave. I remember she call me in, she says uh, she called me Munya--at that time, my name was Moshe, in Polish it was Munya. She says, "Munya, what are you going to do? Where are you going to go?" I said, "I think I've run out of places to go. I've been already all over. The roads are closed." I says, "I've gotta go the ghetto. I'm not gonna go back to Warsaw, but I'll go to the Vengrov ghetto." So, she says, "Well," she says, "we're not going to go to a ghetto." She says, "You're not gonna--we have some ideas for you." I said, "What do you have in mind?" She says, "Wait," 'cause tonight was the last night that night for everybody to uh, leave. That night around uh 10, 11 o'clock, her nephew showed up.

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