Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Nearly Being Exposed as a Jew II

And, suddenly, you know, as we line up for uh, food, you know at the canteens, one of the Nazis sits down right there where they're giving out the food and he's looking at everybody's face. Looking, very, very carefully at everybody--observing everybody. And I notice this when I came up for the food, he looked at me a little longer than at anybody else. Obviously, with that group of people, all farmers, I stuck out--I looked different. And these people were trained to differentiate because I found out that he came from the Russian areas, you know, as the Germans evacuated, these people were trained killers that had nothing to do so there were a surplus and they, they were attached to this contingent--whoever--what--to deal with us. Well, this was breakfast. For lunch, the same way, I see him. Finally, about the third or the fourth day, and I knew already, that I gotta do something that uh, you know, I'm in trouble. I don't know how this is gonna resolve itself. And on the third day, you know, all the people are milling around in the courtyard, back and forth, I hear somebody yelling, "Hey, Jew!" I knew who he meant. Nobody pays attention and he yells louder, "Hey, Jew!" and he starts panting, you know. And he's sitting against the fence, you know, squatting, with his back to the fence and his machine gun like this. And finally he starts pointing, pointing, until everybody looks at me. And he yells--he says, "Jew, come over." So, I said, "This guy..." to my friends. I says, "What is he talking about? How can he mean me? Jew? I'm not a Jew." So I said, "Stashek, come up. Let's go. Let's see what he wants." He says to me--so we're standing now and it's building up, you know, there's already uh, people surrounding--the Ukrainian guards--they're standing and the tension is building. He says, "Let me see your papers," so, I take out my papers. I take out my Kennkarte and all this and he looks at it and he says, "No wonder we're losing the war." He says, "A Jew issued a Kennkarte." He says, "Show me your hands," so I showed my hands. He says, "These are not farm hands." Did you hear that? Anyway, he goes on and on, he says uh, he says, "I'm gonna kill you right here." So, he starts moving his machine gun. He says, "I'm gonna kill you," and I figure I gotta make my last speech. And I said to the, you know, I kept looking at the--my friends. I says, "What is he saying?" I says, "What is he talking about? What's he talking about, Jew?" I said, "Tell him." So they said, "No, we know him," you know, in Polish, "Not a Jew. He's our friends. We know him. Not a Jew."

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