Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982

Family's Fate

What happened to your family?

They make--the parents was already went away to Majdanek, to Treblinka.

How did they--to Treblinka? Tell me how that happened.

This is happened uh, we couldn't, they didn't let us anymore go home. We were already guarded in the camp. But it was a--the city wasn't that big. We heard the next day that there is no Jews, all the families were taken on trains. We even saw in our camp, it was built, it was built on a, on a high level. We saw, from the barracks, we saw trains, trains day and night going by with people sticking out and, you know, it was, it was in summer, hot. They sticked in about--that's what I heard--hundred, hundred and fifty, 'til they came to Treblinka they were half already uh, dead, choke.

In the cattle cars.

In the, in the cattle cars. So, that's the last time I never, I never seen my family. I know the family went to Treblinka.

So, you were taken from them, really? You were all together and then they came and took you from the house, is that what happened?

Yeah. They took me away and this was the end. I've never seen the parents, that's all. And I was already in that uh, uh, forced labor camp, Starowicea [Starowice], and the cities were cleared up, all the ghettoes were no Jews at all. And a matter of fact, in this camp they brought a lot of people from other camps and they told me the same thing, the parents they took away and all young boys, you know, because old people very seldom came to the camp. Because I know my father wasn't, wasn't old, he was a young man, but he always said, whatever, we all go together. Because I had a little brother ten years old and my mother was a young woman. He says, whatever it's going to be, we all go together. We not going to get separated. So us, me and, and, and two brothers, you know, they took and they were separating us not to keep in even the same camp, the same barrack, I mean. Different barracks. Too--even brothers. They, they managed brothers shouldn't be together.

You think they did this deliberately to have the brothers...


When they came--did they come to your house to get you? When they took you to the, to the barracks, to the camp?

One--yeah. They came at night and, you know, it was like uh, I don't know in English how to, uh, like a raid. Exactly. A raid.

Were these Ukrainians who got you?

Ukrainians and SS troops came. They, they knew the ghetto, you know, the, the, the three blocks, that's all. And they run in, they said, the uh, young boys, dress and out in, in five minutes.

Five minutes to get out.

That's all. So, we hardly could get dressed and, and that, this was the end. I remember my mother was crying and my father was crying and, and, you know, hysterical, but they, you know, pushed 'em back and, and you know and us took right away on trucks and they took us to those uh, that uh, forced labor camp. This was end. I didn't see the parents anymore. And a few days later they were, the city was gone.

When did you find out where they had gone?

Uh, you know, when you work in a factory there was Polish people there and they were free. They were in the cities, you know, and they saw, if not they, their relatives, they saw it. And they told me that, that day and night that took about three days in the whole city was not one Jew left. Everybody was in, in the cattle cars, and they, and they know exactly where they sent them.

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