Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Visiting Czyżew Ghetto II

...he said, "Three o'clock in the morning," he says, "a battalion, whatever, the SS surrounded the ghetto in Czyżew." He said, "They took all the Jews out to Treblinka." He said, "There isn't a single one left." So, I don't know if you call it a miracle, or whatever, somebody up there didn't want me there to be taken out. I pleaded, I wanted to stay and somebody didn't let me stay there. I mean, can you imagine? I was so mad. I said, "Jewish people, how can you do this? You're throwing me out to certain death." And they said, "We're sorry. Our families are here. We have too much at stake. Our whole lives are involved here. We are not going to let you stay," and they forced me to leave. So, whatever you call it.

You knew where they went? You knew what Treblinka was?

Yes, yes, by that time, you know, because I heard from these...

Escaped people.

...people were saying, you know, that they're, they're killing people--they're burning people, you know, and this and that. It still didn't dawn on me at the time, you know, what does it mean they're burning people, you know? Uh, it just, it was hard to, to uh, really comprehend. I mean, you know, it's really--it was hard to believe that this was the end of the Czyżew ghetto. So, later that day, I decided it's getting a little too hot for me to stay because if they took out the Jews at Czyżew--I think that same day the farmer let all these Jews go. He was afraid already. They uh, I think there were rumors, you know, that they were going to come after all the others and I figured if I hang around, and they come after them, they'll come after me. So, anyway, it didn't take me long and I took off.

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