Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Visiting Old Neighbor

Was his father a Nazi sympathizer?

Nah, as a farmer, you know, they talked, you know, local politics, you know, about how to hide the grain from the Nazis, you know. It was like a little--well a farmer's way, you know, they had to give a cow and a, and a pig and a chickens--the Germans, you know, the contributions and they were constantly--these are the politics, you know, how to hide this and that, and the sheriff was responsible--so and so you liked, so and so you covered up for, that's all. They settled down to this type of a life. Then--until 1943--in 1943, yeah, I remember living in that village and I became acquainted with people, you know, everybody knew me, this and that and I was--but I felt that there is talk. I started hearing--I just had a fifth sense--that some people are wondering who I really am, because see, every...some people would say, "Do you have any relatives?" you know, and I knew right away when they're asking that, that somebody, you know, doesn't like what he sees--why don't I have any relatives. Well I had a whole dossier made up. I was a born in Warsaw and my parents died, and I was raised by an old lady--an aunt, and she had a fruit stand, you know, and every time the Warsaw smugglers used to come--they were the biggest danger. Everyday they had smugglers traveling by train from Warsaw to the villages to, you know, bring shmates from the city and bring back, you know, eggs and this and that, you know, this was a big business, smugglers going and every time a smuggler would show up from Warsaw, they would proudly tell them that they have a gu...kid from Warsaw. Go meet, meet them. Yeah, and I was always frightened because I figured what address I'll give, this guy might say, "Well, it's not true." So, I had to keep changing and, you know, it was a very, very frightening thing. So, I remember talk started, that uh, you know, I never get mail, nobody writes to me and this and that and while they didn't say it sounded Jewish, but I wasn't gonna let it get to that because I was afraid once they think it sounds Jewish, then I'm dead. Then they won't ask me, they'll go to report me and then, you know, I can't stand the uh, you know, a real test. So, I decided in 1943--I remember it was Easter in '43--to go to Nasielsk and, and I made up my mind I'm gonna visit our neighbor, Mrs. Wyszkowski, who was my mother's best friend, you know, before the war. She was like my mother's age and, you know, her and my mother were, you know, telling each other, you know, women's stuff, whatever.

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