Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Franka Charlupski - June 18, 1985

Start of the Deportations

Do you remember when the, the deportation started?

Uh, I remember when they...Where I lived, there was a five story building. And I remember one day, I was home, for some, some reason I didn't go to work or there was no work that day and um, there was a truck inside uh, it was like a courtyard. And there was a truck standing there. And somehow... I didn't have any children, so I wouldn't, I didn't know anything about it but the mothers somehow got to know that they're coming to get the children and they were hiding the children. And at one moment I see something fly by my window. And I looked out and they were throwing children out the windows. Fourth floor, fifth floor, into the truck. This was a sight that as long as I live, I'll never forget. Babies, two year olds, three year olds, 'cause once they reached seven, eight, sometimes you could hide them as they were going to go to work. This was the most horrible thing, at that time, that I saw.

Was anyone in your family taken away?

No, no. We all went together.

Aunts, uncles?

We all...No, no. I'm talking about only my personal, my mother, my father, and my sister and I that were together. Nobody was taken away. We all went at the same time to Auschwitz.

Did you receive word from your other sisters?

No, not during the...not until, uh...We never heard from them until after the war, I was in Bergen-Belsen and a fellow walked by and he recognized me and he said to me, "your sister is alive." I says, "You must be kidding." He says, "Mala is alive, I wish my sister was as alive as yours is." And we put our name...Red Cross had um, boards put up with names and we put our name out and she did see it and uh, we got together.

And the other two did not survive?

The other three didn't. Two brothers and a sister didn't survive.

How old were they?

Boy, let's go back. If I was nineteen...They had to be thirteen, eleven, and nine. Uh, I, I exactly I can't tell which way when but this is uh, the sister I think was the youngest. Yeah, the sister was the youngest. My grandparents naturally went, uh...My sister Mala was in another camp. She was in Poland in Częstochowa.

Do you remember anything else besides that one recollection about the children being thrown, anything else that stands out in your mind?

From the ghetto? Not... Nothing in particular that would, uh...People were starving, people were sick uh, I worked most of the time so the days I wouldn't see anything, uh...I would go in the morning to work and come back towards the evening. Uh, no.

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