Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Steve Collins - May 10, 1982

Judenrat in Płońsk

... the Judenrat in Płońsk?

Yes. They formed, the Judenrat is uh, [pause] like representation for the Jews in the ghetto. Got like uh, chief in the Jewish police, got police. Got like a president. [pause] Jewish police uh, no. ???, this is the police is uh, ???, police they obeyed the orders from the Germans. The German tells them how many Jews they want to work.


And they got over there organization like uh, well there's supply labor. Would be here like uh, maybe supply, how you say like uh, we want labor?

A work detail?

I mean, uh, maybe they going in one too many Jews to load on trains.


They had to clean something.

The work detail?

Yeah, and the--they going to give an order to the, to the officer, and the officer will grab some Jews on the street. The police call in the street, in the ghetto.

The Jewish police?

The Jewish police. And grab you need, need some many workers. They will send you, sometimes uh, on the field, sometimes unloading. They beat you, very cruel. You didn't get paid and sometimes they're paid to the Judenrat, to the Jewish organizations and never pay...they never paid to the workers.


Wasn't even the money... beating. One time myself, happened to me. I walked in the street, he was the vice president from the Judenrat. His name was Gritz, very hard to remember a names of the, just ???. He grab me by the hand, grab me by my arm and to, to come, the German need some workers. When he grabbed me I hit him over his head, I was, he was much older and I was more physical strong...let him have it. And I broke through and then I ran away and I was free. I hit him very hard on his arm. He grabbing me, supposed to ask me... not a child, you know. No one has to supply labor. And I hit him and later he send back about five police to my...

Jewish police?

Jewish police. When I saw the Jewish police I won't fight with them, really. And I took a hatchet and I went really, to kill a couple. My mother, my sister was yelling, to go over there, don't resist them.


Went in front of my mother was crying, my sister, later went with her. They, they want, maybe they would beat me, later they took me to the police. Took me to the police and they're bringing the German police, the gendarme city police. And they took me to the police. And over there don't have to tell you what to do with you. And I was very lucky, they bring me in and threw me down in the jail. One hundred police, they got a basement, no windows. Didn't go to the bathroom, a whole night I hear beating, crying over there, you know, the next rooms, dark.


I mean, I don't know, in the basement. I didn't hear at all, I mean somewhere else. Some Polack was over there, you know, beating, yelling. And I was there a whole night, a whole day laying and didn't go to the toilet. I was afraid to, there nothing to do until beating. And second, about two days I was over there. ??? food, I wasn't hungry, I just needed to go to the toilet. And finally, open the door, come up upstairs. Went upstairs, was here they take, Polish ???, I don't know what this uh, what this called ???. I mean, uh, ???, you know, hard and inside his, uh...


Was steel. ??? hard to take down from the wall. And the kommandant, I remember like now, shake their head no. Tied to the wall, not gonna have it, you know. The kommandant was an old man with ???, very fine man. He shake the head, no. He says: "why you here?" Said told me the Jewish police, the kommandant. "Told them you didn't want work and you resist the police." You know.

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