Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Passing as Polish III

It was over in May.

But I remember--yeah, that's right, see this was April. But I remember the Germans were saying that they're destroying the ghetto. That the ghetto--they're taking all the Jews out and the conversation that I picked up in the streetcar. But I do remember seeing a Jewish policeman with a hat and a belt, and a German on the inside behind the gate. I remember it was a--had like a lock or something. This was a--so, from there, I got out--I got from there by way of Pło?sk--Pło?sk was a city where Ben Gurion was born. I had an uncle there too in Pło?sk--and went back to the village and from then on cards started coming from Mrs. Wyszkowski because, you know, when they deliver mail in the village, everybody reads the mail and this is what I wanted--that's why I wanted a card.

And she understood this?

Yes, yes, she understood this. I trusted her that she wouldn't betray me, you know, I mean she was a religious woman and so on but I had no choice. I had to, I had to do that because I knew that unless I take immediate action to snuff out any kind of doubt, 'cause doubt meant, "Why don't we test it? Let's see. Let's call somebody." Then I had close calls, you know. And uh, sometime in '43 I remember the Germans were looking for partisans, you know, guerrillas, and I remember one day you heard trucks driving up to the village, you know, and all of a sudden dogs barking and the reflex reaction is to run. I mean, why we ran, I don't understand it. But we ran up in the, in the fields, you know, where the corn was uh, growing and the, the dogs found us--me and the sheriff's son and a guy that was a sausage maker, I remember. So they brought us all out for questioning and I remember one of the soldiers came in-- I had a room, that was sort of like uh, on the side of the house--separate room that I slept in and under my pillow I had German newspapers piled up where I used to read and follow the, the uh, map, you know, as they were coming--moving back from Russia. I mean, this was my only lifeline to follow how they were abandoning city after city after city while the Oberkommando command of the Wehrmacht was announcing that they are moving forward but when you watched the map, you could see that forward means backward.

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