Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992


Then what?

Then what? Then I saw the other boy so we were two. So I went in there in the village. There was a Goy by the name--in Garbatka, not in the railroad station, in the village--his name was ???. And my father did him a favor. A favor, did him. He came in, the goy came in and he was burned down. He was a big farmer also. And his--he was--you see, most of in Poland before, they had the, the roofs were made from straw. One match and the fire department wasn't even there. They were--their--by the time they came--they were mostly, they were volunteers. Fire department was volunteers. And by time they came--they came with horses and buggies. They came, the fires were already going ten times. Sometimes a whole city could burn down. And there was no fire insurance. So he came, but he had the farm. And some of his livestock survived. And he came into my father in the store. There was in the, in, in our city the market there was on Thursday. Every city they had different days. So they didn't interfere one with the other. But in our city it was on Thursday. So this guy came in--comes in and he says to my father, he says, "Look, I'm burned out, burned down and uh, and I need to rebuild."

To you he said this.

To my father.

To your father.

To my father. I was too young. And I wasn't the boss in the business. My father was the boss. And uh, and this was--involved money you know, real money. And he uh, he says to him, "I'll write you down note to five hundred zlotys--a note." And this was--you're talking about ten notes. The, the project was five thousand dollar project. Ten notes. And five thousand zlotys in Poland in that time, I would say today it would be probably if somebody, like a quarter of a million, a half a million dollars. You could buy in that time. And uh, even the zloty was like uh, six zlotys a dollar at that time. Okay? But they still, but in Poland, this was uh, money was scarce. We'll put it this way. And my father looked at him and he says "And I'll bring every week, I'll coming to the market, I'll give you fifty zlotys every week. And, and let's just start..." And he, and he writes out ten, ten notes. They call it a ??? at that time. He writes out ten notes and he lays down on the table. And my father took his word for it. And he gave him you know the, the way he talked to him, he saw he's honest. And he start giving him merchandise. From metal, we had--then he made already a, a, a roof from metal, not from straw you know, so it shouldn't burn down. And he was uh, he was ??? and every week he came and he gave him fifty zlotys. And when he had ten times fifty already paid of ten weeks, my father gave him back a note. So one time, there was another, one Polack, Pole. So it was a, in market day, because that's where they bring--brought in their store. He had livestock. He had everything which is survived. So, so that he takes out a note for five hundred zlotys and he gives my father fifty zlotys and he gives him out a note for five hundred. He say, "You trust that--a Jew? A note for five hundred and fifty." He said, "He trusted me five thousand, so I can trust him five hundred." And that's all. I went in, I knew where--I asked that guy, the guy where he lives there you know, in a village there, and I went in there. First thing--they knew already because on the way going there, there was some of the Polacks they were sitting by the road and they were making all kinda jokes and the Jews. They knew exactly where they were taking the Jews. So this guy, ??? and I went with this other boy, with... And uh, went and took me in. He gave me bread and he told his wife to milk out that--their cow. And he brought in warm milk right from the cows, to drink it. Okay? And then, and I sit there and uh, he knew exactly--he didn't have to ask me. 'Cause they knew exactly what was going on. So I told him that I uh, that I'm leaving this boy here for a night. Maybe a night or, or two. He didn't like it, but uh, he didn't say no. And I told him I have to go back to the city. I have to go back to the city. So, he said okay. And he left him there in a place, he gave him a room in the back there. The last--a little room down there, and put in straw. And I ran in and lay down and that's it. And I--that night, I was still, I was still there. I slept there. The night I slept there, but I told him I will be going because I wanted things to cool off a little. And all of a sudden in the middle of the night, maybe twelve o'clock, maybe later. The lights were lighting up. There was no electricity there. But they were, this was about maybe two m...miles, a mile from the, from the, from the railroad station. But just like daylight. Reflectors you know, they were lighting up, big sharp lights, the Germans there, so that they can see. And what were they doing, they were--and in about twenty minutes, maybe half hour, I heard the beep from the, from the locomotive and then that's it. And then the lights went out and you didn't hear nothing no more. That's when they took him away. That was in the middle of the night. Early in the morning I went back to the boy. But I didn't go into the city. I went in took a ??? She was buying stuff by us. His name was Zacha Kevitch. He doesn't live no more. I went into him. He lived on the end of the city, like. You know, not in the heart of the city. Near a, near a church there. He had a nice house there and I went in there.

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