Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992

Disposition of Parents

Let me stop you a second. Your, your parents were on, were on the transport?


They were still in Zwoleń.

Oh yes.

Hiding in the attic.

Right. They were there.

Okay, okay.

But I--they're supposed to be there.

Yeah, okay.

But, and I came into this, in this eh, city and I went into this Goy. I was afraid to go in, in the city. Because if anybody will see me, that's it. I didn't want to-- look, I didn't want to go in, in the fire. I was trying to uh, to do things right. So I went into him and he was a good friend of ours. He was a customer of ours and he was a good friend of ours. And he was a prominent man in the city. And here, and I--and, and when he saw me he was scared like anything. He sent me up, he had a three-story building. He sent me up, all the way on top. And his wife brought me tea and a piece of bread. In Poland they didn't drink so much coffee. Tea was--tea didn't, didn't no, not much coffee. So--and, and he sat down with me and he asked me what he can do for me. I says, Yes, you can do a lot." I says--and he knew where we lived because he used to come in and take stuff. I said, "I want you to go there," and I gave him the key. "I want you go there..."

Go ahead.

"...and, and see what's going on there." And I told him exactly where they are, that they're--and when he called, when he will say his name, they will hear his name. Okay? He went over there. The doors were already open. Because they were turned, the doors open, they were looking all the Jewish homes and, and there was nobody there. The place was empty.

Your house.

Yep. There was nobody there. Nobody there. So, he came back, there's nobody there. So I said, "I have one more thing I will ask you for me to do, if I can." I gave him--the police--the Jewish police were left. With the workers. They left the Jewish police with the workers. And then they sent the Jewish police--the Judenrat they sent away, they didn't need them. The police they still needed. As long as they could use 'em, they left them there. And then they sent them later to Skarzysko, with the work...with the workers. And the chief of the police was a neighbor of ours. And he had great respect for my father, from the Jewish police. His name was Mendel Vinekelp. They killed him in Buchenwald.

After the war.


At the end of the war.

Before the end. They killed him in Buchenwald. The uh, the prisoners killed him. Because look, what he did me some good, but he did some o...uh, some other people who did be...he didn't do so good. He wasn't the worst guy. But he was the chief of the police. He delivered the merchandise. So I told him. I wrote down a few words. In Yiddish I wrote it. Everybody could read Yiddish in Poland. I wrote it down and I says, "Mendel," I talked with him like the first, for the first name. He was a neighbor of ours. I wrote him. He was older than me, but uh, he was in the army before. Ju...older than me, but knew him since I was a child. Wrote him down like this. "I want you to tell me the truth." I wanted to know the truth. "If you saw my parents and whatever's happened to them." Because I know if anything happened, if they caught somebody he would know. He would know. Then he answered me, he didn't see nobody and didn't hear from body, he doesn't know from nothing. Of course they found some people and they killed 'em, and they knew later which they were hiding or something. And that's it. And it came back with this answer. So, okay. Oh, it was about six when it started getting a little dark. See I didn't go--walk with the main road. Where the Germans were going back and forth and that's. I went in, in the woods, it wasn't so pleasant to walk. And I went in villages and I went back to Garbatka. I going back to Garbatka. Then a Polish policeman s...see me. Then he recognized me ???.

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