Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Friendship with a Pole


Yeah, Stashek because he, you know, he had a yearning for the big city. The fact remains, see there were two brothers and a sister that they split up--usually the sons take over the farm. He sold his part out to his brother and he went to Warsaw and he became an engineer. So, he always had a yearning for the big city to get away from uh, the village. And see, I was sort of his--he admired me because I came from Warsaw and, you know, was able to read German and uh, we always talked. I was able to interpret maps and politics and so on and so on. Did I ever tell you that he taught me--that he belonged to the Underground? I didn't know that. And he told me one day, he says, ??? "I want you to know," he says, "I vouched my life for you." He said, "They were gonna take out a contract on you." He said, "They thought you were a German spy," and he says, "and I guaranteed them that you're a good, honest, patriotic Pole." You see, because by 1943, '44, they started killing off all Russian prisoners, the Underground--the Polish Underground. Wherever they were--escaped Russian prisoners were killed in cold blood. They started cleaning--I had a friend, as a matter of fact from one village--this Russian lieutenant--his name was Pavil Koreshko and he came from an area in Russia, I remember he was telling me, Vskhody. I asked some people here, they know where this, not far from Moscow. You know like a ??? where they're fighting there, this was Vskhody. He was a fine, fine man. He worked--he escaped from a, from a German prisoner of war camp because they were dying, you know. The Germans kept literally hundreds of thousands of in the field and let them die. He escaped and he got a job at this farm and I worked with the farmer next door and he use to teach me Russian and tell me everything about Russia and so on and so on. And then when I left that village and I came to work for the Miskovskys. I remember one night--morning in '44, the news came out that that night before, you know, men came in and they killed him in the barn where he slept. So they killed off all the...

Is this the Armia Krajowa?

Yes, they killed off Jews that were hiding. They killed off the Russian prisoners. All people that they didn't want to survive the war. So this is how I came in and Stashek guaranteed, he says, 'I vouched with my life."

He told you this before he knew you were a Jew?

Of course, of course. We go back in those days until the war was over, he told me--or no, maybe before, maybe before yet.

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