Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992


[interruption on interview]

When they--the night before, they round up our city to Treblinka to take 'em to the railroad station. The railroad station was ten miles from the city. They walked ten miles. Two thousand Ukrainians came in to do the job.

Hm. Under the supervision of the Wehrmacht?

The supervision--not Wehrmacht.


Oh no! SS and the gendarme. SS, SD, SA were--most of 'em were SD.


That's right. They were the one, after they--they, they were supervising and they did the job. They were rounding up the city. So the night before in our city it was Tuesday morning, six o'clock in the morning. And the siren was blowing, everybody out to the rynek. There was a place, a marketplace where the farmers used to bring in their stuff for sale. Everything was a market, once a, a week, like an Eastern Market here in Detroit. That's what they are, they, they were chasing everybody out there. And uh, and some people which they went there, they left--they wanted the, just the kids, they had small children to survive. So they left by, by their Poles, by some of the Poles. They left the children. And they left 'em plenty of money, they left 'em plenty of money to save their children. The minute the parents left, everybody--when the city was already empty of Jews, they went, the Poles, and they took all the kids and they send them out in the middle of the street.

So that the Germans took them too.

Sure. They took 'em to the cemetery and they killed them, on the Jewish cemetery and they shot 'em in the cemetery. How do I know all these things? 'Cause they left eighty people. They left to clean up the city. Of course, there were killings, they were shooting a lot of people and some older people they couldn't walk, they shot and they needed some people to clean up the houses whatever it was left for them, so they needed some working people so they had time, they figure they'll take care of them later. So that's why--and I saw these people later. I was going--they took me to the railroad station with the first party.

To go to Treblinka.

Oh yes. My company, the ??? said that they were going to do it any day. That this, that uh, that they were going to clean out the Jews from there. I don't know if he was a Po...Polock or Volksdeutsch. And he says--we had a, an ID card, we were working for this company and he says, "Everybody should have this on his pillow, because these people they're working, they're going to remain in the city. Everybody is going to leave, but these remain in the city." So I went out, and I was for sure, and we were all together. Because in a city, it was named Kozienice. They left. It was the same company and they left those people there.

What was the company?

They were--we were cleaning rivers. They called that in Polish it was ???. I don't remember the company name. But they, they were in charge of, of you know, of cleaning up the river. So this company in Kozienice, it was about eighteen miles away, they left those people there. So he was sure that we're gonna to remain in the city. So my mother and father and my little brother didn't go out.

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