Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Dropping Polish Identity

You never went back to the Miskovsky's?

No, never went back. And then I uh, started finding out in Warsaw that there were people from Nasielsk that survived, some people, you know, that were hiding out in a wall. Some people were in Russia that came back and I hooked up with a family from Nasielsk. He was a butcher and he was like a Henry Dorfman, this type, you know, proster young but he was he was able to maneuver. He was really like carbon copies of Henry, you know. They were able to uh, get around, trading already in wholesale quantities of cattle with the Polish army and trading. So, he, he had a daughter about a little younger than me and he knew our family, you know. In our town, in our town for my family to make a shidach with that family would be like the Rockefellers, you know, marrying the Jackelonies, you know, this type of a deal. It's like a no, no--impossible. So when he saw me, he took me in to the house, it was like a feather in his cap, to have somebody from the Skalka family, you know. So, I lived with them, stayed with them. And I remember one day, I remember--I don't know how Stashek came to Warsaw looking for me--and he found me--he saw me in Praga. We were walking in the street and he ran over to me. And I didn't tell him yet who I was. I told him, "I can't. I don't know, where, what, when," I walked away. I said, "I'll contact you, come back to the village, they were waiting for you, everybody says..." He says, "I'll be back, don't worry and this and that," and never saw him again until just two years ago. I was embarrassed. I don't know what--I just--in those days, I, I wasn't ready to uh, you know, I still carried my concealment. I was still traumatized by the war. I wasn't ready yet to drop my uh, false face.

You weren't sure about how he would react?

I wasn't sure. I thought he would be embarrassed and it's just, you know, you have to understand the environment.

It turns out you were right?


It turns out you were right?

Yes. You see, you have to understand what it meant to be a Jew. Here a Jew was just uh, didn't counted for five years--somebody worse than anything that's been created in this universe. I mean, you know, it's like a reflex reaction. A Jew you spit on and to turn out that your best friend is one of those, I mean, how do you react? And I didn't want to put him through that--to have to make uh, decisions how to handle it. He was really a good boy, I mean, you know, without everything removed, so this was my feeling, I would spare him these decisions. Do you understand what I am trying to say?

Uh-huh, sure.

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