Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Working in Pułazie Świerze

And I took off and I went closer towards Białystok. You see, really I retraced ...

The original journey?

...the original journey. It brought me--not by design, but it just sort of led me back 'cause by that time, you know, the Russians were already pushed back into the--all the way to the deep Russia and the Germans were roaming, you know, all over. And, I remember I got to a village they call Szepietowo. That was a rail, a rail line near a city called Wysokie Mazowsiecke And there, I found employment near Szepietowo in a village called Pułazie Świerze. I got employment with a wealthy farmer who used to be a deputy in the Polish Parliament, from the Farm Party by the name of Stanislaw Miskovsky. That was the man's name. Very articulate, bright man, you know, you could see he was an educated man, and they took me in and I worked for them practically until the end of the war in that village.

They didn't know you were Jewish?

No. I came in with uh, great credentials. And uh, I think it was just before I got the job with them that I got my Kennkarte Yes, that's the--see the German Kennkarte. That gave me the chutzpa.

That's your ID?

Yeah, that gave me the chutzpa. Because until I got that card--it was all of that neighborhood--I think I worked for a different--in a different village, and that village I made my foray to get this card. I don't know if I told you how I got the card, you know. I was told by that farmer, you know, they kept--the Germans kept setting dates for the Kennkarte. Every Pole had to have a Kennkarte, you know, which, you know what Kennkarte means in German?

Yeah, identity card.

Identity card, yeah. And without that, you know, you're dead. They knew the Jews are already taken care of but they wanted to get a handle on the population--the Polish population. Now, so they kept extending it, you know, another six months, another six months. Finally, in uh, 1943--whatever that date is--late in 42--I don't remember what date it says there--that was it. So, the farmer that I worked for, he says, ??? he says, "You don't have a Kennkarte, they'll kill you." He says, "They'll stop you." He says, "The sheriff told me," he says, "everybody must make sure you have the Kennkarte because if you don't, you're dead. You'll be considered just like a Jew. They'll kill you." And I was afraid. I said to myself, you know, "What do you do? I mean, you know, you've got flimsy piece of little paper. You got nothing." But I had no choice and I had to make a decision, I must do it.

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