Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992

Anti-Jewish Laws

So you were telling me the Germans were in the town now. And um, were there laws passed? Do you remember if there--did they pass laws right away? Anti-Jewish laws?

Oh yeah. Everyday they had different laws. They didn't have to pass it. Whatever he said, that was the law. I mean...

So what were some of the restrictions then?

Well, came, some of the restrictions they came first year, you had to wear--they came out a few months later. Six months later, I don't remember exactly, an armband with a Star of David so they know who's a Jew and who is not. Then you had to have uh, an ID card. And that says Jude on your, on the ID card.

The Kennkarte.

Right, okay. And then uh, they came in, they wa...wanted like uh, they wanted so many people to work and they, this day they came in, in the Judenrat. Uh, that time it was just the Judenrat--the Jewish police they organized later. And uh, and they delivered and they send 'em in uh, the people whatever they wanted, whatever. Send them into work. But in the, it was like a organized. Like they sent, like uh, I had to go to work two days a week for them or... You know, they were...

Where did you work?


Where did they put you to work?

Oh, all kinda works. Uh, uh, uh to chip stones you know, or to, to break stones, or whatever, on roads. All kinda work. But now lately it was less. I was working on a--we were straighten out the rivers you know, cleaning out the rivers and stuff like this. This was already working steady, everyday. Because in labor you had to w...work. There was--nobody could walk around empty. Everybody had to have a place to work. That didn't prevent them from taking--if they came in from a camp, from a camp, like from Skarzysko Kamienna and they needed people to work there. They took the people away from, right from the place where we were working. They took me once away from there.

To Skarzysko?

Yeah, but I didn't go to Skarzysko. I didn't go this far.

How far did you go?

I go--like I walked half way.

And then what? You jumped off the train?

No, there was on a trucks.

On a truck.

And there, they, when they maked a, a turn or a turn. You see, this was a truck with a--in, in German it's a on-hanger with a, with a trailer, you know.


Big, big truck with a trailer. And when they make a turn--in Poland the roads are not, were not big and uh, so when the man slows down you jump off the truck.

What did you do when you jumped off?

Nothing. I just came back home.

So you es...escaped the labor gang.


You escaped from the labor gang and went home.

Oh yeah, I went home.

Tell, tell me more about that. They were conscripting people. Was, was your father ever taken away to a labor gang?


Your brother.

...no. They didn't take the older people. But he was working. They used to take him many times in the city to work.


But they didn't take away--they were looking for younger people to take in these camps.

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