Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Mala Weintraub Dorfman - September 15, 2005

Outbreak of War

Do you remember where you were when the war broke out?

I was home. And uh, uh, we looked down the window, I looked out the window and I saw the Germans and I saw the Jews with the payes and the beard and they were cutting off the beard and ripping out the uh, the payes from them. And my mother said no, we have to go away. And they start talking in the city, you go to a small town, you'll be safe, they will not come, just in big cities, so she took us to my grandmother.

In Kozienice.

In Kozienice, yeah, yeah. So my two brothers and my sister and myself. Franka and Rosa stayed with my father and my mother went with us. But she went right back. She didn't stay with us.

She left you with your...

Yeah, over there. When we got in the ghetto we got a little room and we all stayed there. And then...

There was already a ghetto in...

Yes, when I got there, there was a ghetto.

Was the war a surprise to your family?

Very. We were shocked, not a surprise. We were shocked when the war broke out. No one talked about it, no one knew about... The only thing we knew that the German Jews came to Poland. So we knew that something is not going right if the German run away from German, the Germans just run away from Germany.

Did they... They came to Łódź.

They came to Łódź, they came all over, all over.

And did you meet or see any of them?

No, no, but that's what the paper said. You know, we just, what my mother read in the paper. She bought the Jewish news, the Jewish paper so she read about it.

Was there a Zionist movement in the...

If there was, I didn't know.

But your father wanted to go to Isra... to Palestine at the time.

He wanted to go to Palestine, yeah. And we had a certificate, but the war broke out, we couldn't go anymore.

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