Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Helping Escaped Jews

You decided at some point when you were in Warsaw not to try and find anybody in your family?

No, it was impossible. It was closed off. You know, you could see that everything was broken, you know, the buildings were zu hakt, zu klapt. They were--I knew there was already talk that they were...


...they were--yeah. It wasn't a liquidation from the ghetto yet, but talk was that I could hear on the streetcar, that they are taking Jews away. They're taking them away.

By train?

Yeah, by train. So, this is the conversation. So, I was driving around all day, you know, to see if I could get a glimpse, but I couldn't and then, I had a hard time getting out. See, I couldn't stay, so, why I went there I--to this day, you know, whatever came to my mind to do these things, you know, this wasn't exactly smart for survival. But I didn't do everything that--it was sometimes I did things by, by reflex--by, by impulse. It seemed to be a good idea to leave that city. Anyway, she takes me to this farm and I become his star pupil.

What's his name?

What's his name? He was a wealthy farmer. You know, he had nice horses and he was a young guy, a guy maybe--in those days maybe he was in his thirties, you know. Sort of a ladies man, this type of a sharp dresser, you know, by the Polish standards on a farm. I don't know his history, but he was wealthy. I don't know how he inherited the farm, but he ran it. And all of a sudden, I remember as the days went on--I don't remember how long I was on that farm--but as the days went on and I'm plowing the field, I see people coming through the fields. They were running and they're asking me, "Where's the nearest farm?" as I knew they were Jewish people. And the first thing that I wanted to do is say, you know, tell them who I am, but then I said don't say anything, because it is a, you know, it's a, it's a kiss of death. So, anyway I said, "Well, I said if you're looking for work, go to this farmer I'm working for, maybe he'll take you in." So much so that within a couple of days, he had about ten Jews and I remember he let them sleep in the barn. And during the, you know, when they were in the barn and I was outside, I could hear them talk Yiddish. And they were saying how they got out of Treblinka.


From Treblinka, because Treblinka was like right nearby. They were saying, "Treblinka, there's a camp, Treblinka." At the time I didn't, I did not even understand but they were sorting clothing and they were hidi...they were hiding in the boxcars. As it went out, they jumped the cars. But there were several of them there from Warsaw. One said he was a jeweler. I heard them talk. They were talking Yiddish. And I wanted--I was dying to go in and tell them, you know, who I was. But I held the impulse back, you know, not to go in because I would have, you know, my whole uh, cover would have been blown and I would be like right back in the ghetto. So, this went on for several days and they were working on--I don't remember what kind of work they were doing and I did my farm work. I was plowing, you know, with the horses and the cows. I was, you know, a real farm hand.

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